New York City Comptroller Brad Lander is one of 14 state treasurers to sign a joint letter in response to recent legislation aiming to curb consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investing.

In a September 14 announcement, Lander criticized West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida for creating new policies “that restrict who they will do business with,” a decision he said will reduce competition and restrict access to many high-quality fund managers.

“These blacklists are a backlash response on behalf of political and corporate interests seeking to interfere with the progress made by those of us who believe in collaboration and engagement,” Landers stressed.

The Comptroller argued that the evolving divide could result in two kinds of states moving forward: states focused on short term gains and states focused on long term beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders.

“This type of short-term thinking imposes an ideological screen on an investment manager’s ability to perform,” he warned.

Lander concluded that working toward long term success means every investment manager should be considered without an ideological or political screen.