• January 13, 2023

Press Release

Press Release

Press Release 150 150 Dr. Tom Oliverson

Representative Oliverson Files Bills Targeting ESG and Abortion Tourism

Austin, Texas – State Representative Tom Oliverson, M.D. (R-Cypress) this week filed conservative legislation targeting business practices that are out-of-step with Texas values. House Bills 1239 and 1280 seek to protect Texas industry and ensure compliance with state law.

House Bill 1239 prohibits insurance companies from using environmental, social, and governance scores (ESG) or diversity, equity, and inclusions factors (DEI) as criteria when setting rates. Insurance companies, at their core, are actuarial powerhouses that are highly skilled at evaluating risk. When institutional investors force insurers into considering subjective external factors, both the Texas economy and its citizens are adversely affected.

“ESG and DEI investment practices are negatively impacting our state’s economy and the ability of businesses to effectively do business in Texas,” said Representative Oliverson. “These arbitrary and undefined criteria are being used to essentially force companies to make decisions that have no bearing on the company and can actually be harmful to shareholder value.”

House Bill 1280 prohibits a Texas corporation from deducting healthcare expenses from its franchise tax if that corporation chooses to provide abortion tourism services to its employees. Under current Texas law, an entity subject to the franchise tax may deduct compensation, which includes health care benefits, from its total tax due.

“Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, several companies have announced they will be paying employees’ travel expenses to states where the killing of babies through abortion is legal,” said Representative Oliverson. “If Texas-based companies choose to engage in this practice, under HB 1280, they will no longer be able to deduct their employee healthcare expenses from their franchise taxes.”

For any questions or concerns contact Molly Wilson at Molly.Wilson@House.Texas.Gov or 512.463.0661.