By Kim Jarrett
(The Center Square) – The Arkansas House Committee on State Agencies and Government Affairs recommended the passage of a bill that would ban financial institutions from discriminating against firearms and fossil fuel businesses from doing business with the state.
House Bill 1307 would require the state treasurer to compile a list of those companies and post it on the department’s website.
“Basically, this bill just says you can’t discriminate against the firearm industry, the ammunition industry or the fossil fuel industry in Arkansas,” Rep. Jeffrey Wardlaw, R-Hermitage, told the committee. “If you do, we won’t put any state dollars into your business.”
Wardlaw was asked about other states that have said similar bills could cost billions of dollars.
Indiana lawmakers are considering a similar bill. The Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis said in the bill’s fiscal note the state would see a reduction in aggregated investment returns of about $6.7 billion.
“We exempted the indirect holdings trying to avoid some of that major hit,” Wardlaw, the bill’s primary sponsor, told the committee. “We worked with our retirement folks to come to that conclusion, so I think we’ve minimized the way it will hit Arkansas.”
The bill now goes to the full House for approval.
Kim Jarrett’s career spans over 30 years with stops in radio, print and television. She has won awards from both the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.
Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.
To read more about ESG bills in other states, click here, here, and here.