Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of bills this week aimed at cracking down on crime and combating the left’s ideological rampage through America’s corporate sector.
On Monday, the Republican governor signed into law a measure (HB 1297) allowing capital punishment for individuals convicted of sexual battery against minors under the age of 12. According to The Daily Caller, the legislation directly challenges the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in the 2008 Kennedy v. Louisiana, which “prohibited the death penalty in such cases when the victim survived.”
“We think that in the worst of the worst cases, the only appropriate punishment is the ultimate punishment, and so this bill sets up a procedure to be able to challenge that precedent,” DeSantis said. The signing of HB 1297 was part of a press conference focused on Florida’s “anti-crime, pro-public safety” legislation.
During the Monday event, DeSantis also signed HB 1627 and HB 1359. While the former would strengthen Florida’s bail laws and protect Floridians from bail reforms favored by soft-on-crime, leftist prosecutors, the latter would enhance punishments for individuals caught trafficking fentanyl that looks like candy. According to a press release from DeSantis’s office, “those who traffic such substances [become] eligible for a life sentence” and could face “a minimum 25 year sentence and a $1 million penalty.”
In addition to cracking down on crime, DeSantis is also confronting the left’s efforts to advance so-called environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. On Tuesday, the Florida Republican signed HB 3, which, according to a local news outlet, bans “[ESG] considerations from investment decisions and protect[s] consumers’ ability to access financial services” in Florida.
As The Federalist previously reported, ESG is a tool used to evaluate companies based on how “woke” they are. Using metrics developed “by bankers, investors, activists, and, in some cases, government officials,” ESG models can reward or punish businesses based on their commitment to leftist concepts such as “environmental” and “social” justice. In March, Florida, along with nearly 20 other states, launched a coalition designed to protect citizens from ESG influences “across state systems” and “in the financial sector.”
“We are recognizing the dangers with this agenda. It’s not your agenda; it’s not the agenda of the average Floridian or average American,” DeSantis said during Tuesday’s bill signing. “This is an elite-imposed agenda. These are people that have access to a lot of financial might, a lot of business and corporate resources, and they are trying to marshal that in service of their particular political agenda, and that is wrong.”
In addition to the aforementioned legislation, DeSantis has also signed bills this year that legalize constitutional carry and prohibit the killing of babies in the womb after six weeks of pregnancy. Measures barring school officials from instructing K-8 students on gender identity and sexual orientation, prohibiting public universities from using federal or state money for divisive “DEI” programs, increasing enforcement of immigration laws, and banning harmful and irreversible transgender surgeries and drugs for minors, are expected to be signed by the Florida governor in the coming weeks.