State Rep. Chip Brown (R-Mobile) filed legislation last week that would prohibit local and state agencies from considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria when awarding some public contracts.

ESG is an approach to evaluating how a corporation aligns itself with social goals beyond earning a profit for its shareholders. These goals often pertain to environmental sustainability, advocacy for certain social movements, and commitment to "diversity, equity and inclusion" (DEI). Ratings agencies award ESG scores to corporations supposedly based on their adherence to ESG values.

House Bill 188 would “prohibit the consideration of environmental, social, and governance(ESG) criteria when awarding a public contract; and to require a responsible bidder, as a condition of being awarded a public contract and certify under penalty of perjury “that its employees will not be subject to a personal ESG rating as a basis of hiring, firing, or evaluation.”

A state or local governmental agency or other public awarding authority may not consider ESG criteria or an ESG rating when awarding a public contract that has a value of $100,000 or more, according to the text of the legislation.

Brown didn’t return a request for comment from 1819 News.

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