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Proposed Legislation Could Imprison Business Owners and State Employees 

Washington, D.C.  – State legislators in New Hampshire have introduced legislation making it a felony to “‘knowingly; invest state or taxpayer funds using ESG criteria that violates what legislators define as fiduciary duty,” punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  

According to Pensions & Investments,

“‘Executive branch agencies that are permitted to invest funds shall review their investments and pursue any necessary steps to ensure that no funds or state-controlled investments are invested with firms that invest New Hampshire funds in accounts with any regard whatsoever based on environmental, social, and governance criteria,’ the bill said.

The New Hampshire Retirement System ‘shall adhere to their fiduciary obligation and not invest with any firm that will invest state retirement system funds in investment funds that consider environmental, social, and governance criteria, as the investment goal should be to obtain the highest return on investment for New Hampshire’s taxpayers and retirees,’ the bill said.”

In response, Unlocking America’s Future spokesperson Kyle Herrig issued the following statement: 

“This proposed legislation is incredibly dangerous and threatens the livelihood of business owners across New Hampshire. Prohibiting the state from investing in funds that use responsible investing strategies is shortsighted and limiting. Making it a felony to do so is downright ridiculous. These extreme lawmakers are proving that they don’t actually care about Granite Staters  – they only care about the bottom lines of the wealthy special interests funding these attacks on responsible investing.”

These attacks on responsible investing hurt everyday Americans, resulting in billions of dollars of losses from pensions and harm to local economies. 

  • The Kansas State Division of the Budget projected reduced returns of $3.6 billion over 10 years for the Kansas Public Retirement System if anti-ESG investment restrictions were adopted. 
  • The Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System estimated that they could lose $30 million to $40 million per year due to an anti-ESG bill that would require the State Treasurer and public entities to divest assets from certain institutions that use ESG-related metrics. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System estimated that the system could lose an additional $7 million or more per year as a result of the legislation. 
  • An analysis by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that Texas municipalities will be paying $300 million to $500 million in additional interest because of the state’s anti-ESG law – and that’s just on the $31.8 billion borrowed in the first eight months after the law went into effect.   
  • An analysis by the economics consulting firm ESI for the Sunrise Project found that taxpayers in six states — Kentucky, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Missouri — could be on the hook for up to $700 million in excess interest payments if restrictions on sustainable investing are implemented.