It’s push back time on America’s powerful elites. If these elites can’t get their way through government executive orders, laws, or regulations, they will use the backdoor to succeed in implementing control.
Washington won’t stop them; President Biden is enabling them. States have the power to apply the brakes, and we are doing that in South Carolina.
Today’s top story is Environmental, Social, Governance, or ESG.
ESG is their Backdoor
Simply, ESG is a plan by the powerful global economic and political elites (the Davos Crowd) to accomplish the great global “reset” by derailing capitalism (which strives to maximize profits for shareholders) and replacing it with “stakeholder capitalism.” These unelected and self-appointed elites are in the process of hijacking corporations and asserting control. And, by the way, you are likely their next target.
The big investment firms use the power of pension funds, and maybe your 401K, to coerce corporate executives to invest in their social objectives. Instead of maximizing your investment so you have the most money in retirement, they seek to implement their social plan, which could be costly to you. They are utilizing ESG to implement the progressive/socialist ‘Green New Deal’ primarily with your money.
For many companies, their ESG score has become a primary component of their risk profile. Highly scored companies receive preferential status and can easily access capital and other yet-to-be-defined advantages. A company with a low ESG rating will lose access to capital and credit. That’s crippling.
Who sets the ESG criteria? The elites. And they will keep arbitrarily changing the criteria and scores to fit their social goals, not your retirement goals.
By the way, this doesn’t stop with companies. The ever-changing ESG metrics are beginning to be used in individual social credit scores. Think of China’s social credit rating system when you try to get your next loan or mortgage.
Blocking WOKE Investing
This week, the SC House LCI Committee approved “The ESG Pension Protection Act” and sent it to the House floor for debate and a vote next week.
I’m the primary sponsor of this legislation, and 50 cosponsors join me. The bill ensures the $39 billion in SC’s pension system will be invested to maximize the returns for the 600,000+ state and local government employees and bans using the ESG scheme.
There was star power brought to the testimony. Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, an outspoken opponent of this sinister WOKE initiative, testified remotely.
Ramaswamy, the author of “Woke, Inc.” called ESG a “smoke screen.” Adding, “It’s about advancing a social agenda through the back door they can’t through the front door,” he said.
In his testimony, Michael Hitchcock, the CEO of the SC Retirement System, agreed that investment decisions must be made “in the sole interest of providing our hard-working state and local employees the benefits they’ve been promised for a lifetime of public service.”
Hitchcock stated, “Our job is to manage those assets in a way that provides superior returns. That’s the only thing we’re interested in.”
He concluded, “The easiest way to say it is, ‘We’re not woke. We’re not anti-woke. We’re anti-broke.'”
I testified that the bill enshrines current investing practices into state law to guard against change because you can’t predict the future and who will be in public office.
President Biden is going in the opposite direction. Last week, he issued his first veto, killing an anti-ESG measure at the federal level. He vetoed the bill approved by Congress that would have banned government money managers from considering ESG issues when making investment choices.
Next week is the legislative crossover deadline meaning if bills are going to be considered by the other chamber this year, they have to be approved by the House or Senate and sent to the other chamber. The deadline is unnecessary in the first year of a session because bills remain alive and can be considered next year. Regardless, there was a flurry of activity this week pushing forward bills to make the crossover deadline. Therefore, I’ll be brief.
Enforcing Our Immigration Laws
The House unanimously voted to pass H.4120, a bill that creates the “Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit” within the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED). The purpose of the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit is to enforce immigration laws as authorized according to federal and state laws.
Protecting SC From Foreign Adversaries
The Senate passed and sent to the House a bill that would protect South Carolinians from countries the United States deems to be foreign adversaries. The countries on that list consist of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. This bill (S.576) would stop companies owned by foreign adversaries from buying land in South Carolina. Sen. Shane Massey offered the bill after learning that AnPac, a Chinese Bio-Medical Company, had agreed to pay $28 million for 500 acres in McCormick County.
Ban Gender-Affirming Medical Procedures
A few years ago, most of us would have never dreamed a law like this would be needed. But fast-forward to today; legislation is required to protect our most vulnerable.
The Senate subcommittee passed a bill to ban gender-transition surgeries, hormone therapy, and puberty blockers for those under 18. Advocates for the bill say it will protect children and parents from being pressured into agreeing to these harmful and experimental gender transition procedures. At least 11 states have enacted similar laws, including Georgia. Nearly two dozen states are considering similar laws this year.
Education and Workforce Readiness
On Wednesday, the House passed H.4060, which establishes statewide workforce readiness goals and makes changes related to dual enrollment and credit transfer between institutions of higher learning. It calls for a uniform dual enrollment system for college courses taken while students are in high school. The Department of Employment and Workforce will provide free and accessible information on the economic value of college majors to the State Department of Education and public school districts. This will ensure students are fully informed of their education and career options.
Open Enrollment Option in Public Schools
Parents and their children deserve as much choice in education as possible, regardless of their zip code. I enthusiastically voted in favor of H.3843. The Open Enrollment Bill will level the playing field for all students in SC, allowing them to attend public schools outside their attendance zone and school district. By providing options in a physical location, learning environments, and educational opportunities, parents can find the best school and fit for their child’s education.
More School Choice
The Senate has sent to the House legislation that would create the Academic Choice in Education (ACE) fund. The bill (S.285) would set up nonprofit organizations to solicit private, tax-deductible scholarship contributions and distribute those scholarship funds. Students in families that earn up to 400% of poverty (approximately $120,000 for a family of four) would be eligible for scholarships.
Providing Education Flexibility
I firmly believe flexibility is a critical component of education programs as it allows students to pursue their educational goals in ways that work best for them. One such method, competency-based education, enhances educational outcomes for students by promoting their mastery of specific concepts and skills. On Thursday, the House passed H.3295, a bill that gives school districts the flexibility to use courses that focus on mastery of specific skills, such as welding or mechanics, instead of traditional required seat time in other topics. By embracing flexibility in education, we can create more inclusive, personalized, and effective learning environments that support the success of all students and prepare them for jobs upon graduation.
Read to Succeed
The Senate passed and sent to the House a bill (S.418) that would reduce the workload on teachers to comply with the Read to Succeed initiative. Read to Succeed is designed to ensure students are reading on grade level by the completion of third grade.
Progress on Adoption Reform
The House of Representatives continues to work on legislation to make it easier for SC parents seeking to adopt children. There is a set of seven bills that will encourage family members to become guardians, eliminate the 90-day waiting time to finalize an adoption, allow family court judges to waive pre- and post-adoption report requirements, speed up the adoption process, and allow permanency planning hearings to include termination of parental rights determinations.
Stopping Sexual Extortion
Sextortion is a type of cybercrime that involves using sexually explicit images or videos to extort money, sexual favors, or other benefits from a victim. Sextortion laws are crucial in protecting individuals. In the US, it is considered a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. However, SC does not have specific laws. On Wednesday, H.3583 passed favorably out of a House subcommittee and will head to the full committee in the coming weeks.
This issue hits close to home as one of my House colleagues, Rep. Brandon Guffey (R-Rock Hill), who recently lost a child to this senseless crime. Here’s a link to a fantastic national magazine article highlighting Brandon’s effort.
NEWS CLOSER TO HOME
Astounding Death Toll
Every seven minutes.
That’s how often someone dies from Fentanyl poisoning or overdose in the United States, smuggled into our nation by Mexican cartels with ingredients imported from China.
That’s not a long-distance problem.
Every four days, a resident of Aiken County dies of an accidental drug overdose! This is more evidence showing why the fentanyl laws the General Assembly is working to pass are essential to enact.
According to Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables, who compiled statistics on 2022 overdose deaths, Fentanyl was found in 80% of the cases. Still, the horse/large animal tranquilizer Xylazine was present 21% of the time across these fatalities. Regrettably, the rescue medication Narcan does not work on Xylazine. The Coroner’s statistics do not include suicides by drugs or any possible cases where an alleged homicide by drugs is pending.
National studies show that being in a treatment and recovery-support program like the Aiken Center provides reduces the chances of non-fatal and fatal overdoses. Individuals with substance use disorders/addictions must receive effective treatment and recovery services. (Contact The Aiken Center)
Mental Health Advocacy
When this week’s school shootings occurred in Nashville, the reflex reaction of the Lamebrain-National-News-Propaganda-Machine and Leftist politicians was to blame the gun. They push their anti-gun agenda while avoiding what is often the root cause – mental illness.
At the Statehouse this week, we celebrated Mental Health Advocacy Day. Tamara Smith and Lee Bodie of the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center joined the Aiken Legislative Delegation members as we recognized the invaluable contribution the SC Department of Mental Health members make in combatting mental health issues.
Tech College Day
Wednesday was Technical College Day at the Statehouse. It is an opportunity to spend time with all 16 of our state technical colleges as students and faculty members display specialties from their college’s curriculum. We are very proud of the nimbleness of our tech colleges to respond to the ever-changing requirements of industry and their ability to pivot to train students to meet those needs. I was pleased to spend significant time with Aiken Tech President Dr. Forest Mahan and Denmark Tech President Dr. Willie Todd. Both are exceptional educational leaders.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
It was Good Eats for a Great Cause. I was up early Saturday morning to stop by the Couchton Fire and Rescue headquarters, just east of Aiken on Hwy. 302. The ladies of the firehouse were offering homemade breakfast burritos. They were YUMMY!
Want to Know More?
Do you want to learn more about my positions, bill sponsorships, voting record, and past writings? Here are some handy links:
- About Me: https://taylorschouse.com/about-2/
- My Positions: https://taylorschouse.com/issues/
- Sponsored Bill & Voting Record: http://tiny.cc/b1pouz
- Recent Newsletters: https://taylorschouse.com/category/newsletter/
I’m Available & AT YOUR SERVICE
It is my honor to be of service. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need assistance navigating state government or have any thoughts or concerns about the legislature.
In Your Service,
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Legal Notice: This newsletter is not a solicitation for contributions to any SC registered lobbyist.