TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other state officials have taken significant action to enforce Florida’s ban on investing in companies accused of participating in boycotts of Israel.
On Wednesday, the Florida State Board of Administration added Morningstar, a multi-billion dollar investment research company based in Chicago, to Florida’s list of “Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel.”
The decision was made during a brief livestream meeting, with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis joining Gov. DeSantis in their roles as trustees of the State Board of Administration.
“In May I signed legislation to strengthen Florida’s prohibition on investing with companies that boycott Israel,” Gov. DeSantis stated. “In reviewing today’s report, and in consultation with staff, it’s clear Morningstar, a company currently under continued examination, may be in violation of these new provisions of law.”
The Florida list, established by a 2016 law and updated earlier this year, requires divestment from companies on the list.
The law states that if “the company continues to boycott Israel, the public fund must sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly traded securities of the company from the public fund within 12 months after the company’s most recent appearance on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.”
According to the revised law, Morningstar will now have a 90-day window to rectify actions that are deemed to be part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which had been reportedly critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
However, Morningstar had previously issued a news release in 2022 in which they disassociated themselves from the BDS campaign. Morningstar previously committed to adopting all the recommendations from an independent investigation into anti-Israel bias allegations.
The Morningstar news release also outlined “additional” measures aimed at addressing anti-Israel bias in environmental, social, and governance ratings through their subsidiary, Sustainalytics.
As of June 30, the Florida Retirement System reportedly held 26,343 shares of Morningstar stock with a total value of $5.9 million.
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