Governor Reynolds. (IPBS file photo)

Governor Kim Reynolds is asking legislators to pass a bill that would forbid state agencies or pension funds from doing business with investment firms that boycott gunmakers or the fossil fuel industry.

“An unfortunate trend has emerged in prominent investment firms that prioritize political agendas and woke ideology above their client’s returns,” Molly Severn, an aide to the governor, said during a Senate subcommittee hearing. “Environmental, Social and Governance or ESG practices are not only legally suspect, they are financially reckless.”

Richard Rogers of the Iowa Firearms Coalition said an international bank recently notified a prominent Iowa gun manufacturer and dealer it would no longer process its credit card sales because it was a gun business.

“If financial industries were to redline on the basis of race, creed, color (and) so on it would be both immoral and illegal,” Rogers said. “I don’t think they should be able to redline entire industries that are lawful and moral.”

A spokesman for the state universities as well as managers of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System and a pension for fund peace officers said they have not invested in companies that are targeted by the governor’s bill.

Similar bills are being considered in other states as Republicans criticize firms making investment decisions based on the way a business approaches issues like climate change. However, Republican lawmakers in Mississippi recently rejected the plan. The Mississippi bill, just like the one Iowa’s governor has proposed, would require publication of a list of financial institutions the state is not to do business with because of their investment policies.

Radio Iowa