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Neal Pandozzi

Neal Pandozzi Quoted in The Bond Buyer’s “DeSantis’ duel with Disney reignites as Florida lawmakers near ESG vote”

Florida lawmakers are poised to eliminate the letters ESG from their municipal bond lexicon, and this move is once again creating a public fight between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Co. The elimination of ESG is part of House Bill 3, which the Florida Senate is currently considering. The bill would prohibit municipalities from issuing environmental, social and governance bonds. It would also ban an issuer from paying for a third-party verifier who certifies that a bond may be designated or labeled as an ESG bond or using a rating agency whose ESG scores harm an issuer’s credit standing.

Neal Pandozzi recently discussed the bill with The Bond Buyer during The Bond Buyer Podcast:

“This bill will ban using rating agencies whose ESG methodology will have what is perceived as a direct negative impact on the issuer’s bond ratings. It prohibits entering into the contracts with the rating agencies if their ESG scores will have a direct negative impact on this particular issuer’s bond ratings.”

Neal noted that what concerns him the most about the way the bill is currently written is the broad language it uses to describe ESG bond issuance because it would also ban bonds that have been designated as bonds with an ESG purpose.

“So it’s not just the labeling, it’s bonds designated as having an ESG purpose,” Neal said. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find a bond that is issued by a governmental issuer that isn’t somehow tied to a social benefit, a governmental benefit, a climate benefit.”

Continue reading “DeSantis’ duel with Disney reignites as Florida lawmakers near ESG vote” on The Bond Buyer website (subscription required).





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