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Rokita takes aim at ESG investing, even as Indiana law already bans it

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita stands at a lectern and gestures with his right hand as he speaks to reporters during a press conference. There are several microphones on the lectern. Rokita is a White man with dark hair and is wearing a dark blue suit jacket with a light blue dress shirt.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Attorney General Todd Rokita said the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) is already banned from incorporating ESG investing strategies under state law.

There’s no evidence that Indiana taxpayer dollars are being invested using what’s known as environmental, social and governance, or ESG considerations.

But Attorney General Todd Rokita said he wants to assure Hoosiers that’s true.

ESG investing is a growing practice in which investors consider the environmental and social impacts of their investments. Several conservative-led states have taken steps to ban it when it comes to investing public dollars.

Rokita said the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) is already banned from incorporating ESG investing strategies under state law.

“We all deserve assurance that state retirement funds are being invested solely for financial interests,” Rokita said.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

Rokita said there’s no evidence INPRS is using ESG practices. But he said the state does use outside investment firms to manage its funds. And the Republican AG said he’s investigating whether those firms employ that investment strategy.

There’s evidence that states banning firms that use ESG investing have cost taxpayer dollars by limiting competition and increasing borrowing costs.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri.