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Stakeholder Capitalism Crosses Red-Blue Divide: 19 Rep., 16 Dem. Govs. Ink Public Benefits Corp. Statutes

Many of the same governors who have come out against Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) have signed into law public benefits corporation statutes which enshrine Stakeholder Capitalism into the corporate laws of their states for any organization which wishes to benefit from them. Beneath the rhetoric, well-known governors in both parties support the principles of Stakeholder Capitalism.

Note: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance, which other than being based on capitalist principles is strictly non-partisan, has initiated a petition encouraging politicans to unite around leaving alone a bi-partison reform concept most people can agree upon except those who favor state over private, public, or employee ownership. 

By Bruce Bolger

19 Republicans, 1 Libertarian, 17 Democrats Sign Public Benefits Corp. Statutes
States With Public Benefits Corp. Statutes By Democratic or Republican Governor

What do such prominent conservatives as Rick Scott of Florida, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Mike Pence of Indiana, and Greg Abbott of Texas have in common? They like liberals Andrew Cuomo from New York, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, John Hickenlooper of Colorado and many others all signed into law public benefits corporation statutes that enshrine into corporate law the principles of Stakeholder Capitalism for any company which elects to balance purpose and profit in their states.
These statutes allow publicly or privately held companies to run their organizations based on a clearly articulated purpose of their choice and to consider the interests of all stakeholders in fulfilling that purpose, while raising capital and distributing profits in conventional means privately or publicly. To comply, organizations must clearly state their purpose, report on how they engage with their stakeholders, and have their practices audited by a third party. Of course, consistent with Stakeholder Capitalism principles, companies have the right to conduct business any which way they legally choose to do so; let the free market to decide with whom investors and other stakeholders wish to engage.

19 Republicans, 1 Libertarian, 17 Democrats Sign Public Benefits Corp. Statutes

If anything, as the chart below shows, the statutes have received more support in conservative and libertarian states than in liberal states. Out of the 37 states and territories tracked based on the latest Wikipedia list of states with such 36 such statutes in 2018, 19 were in states with a Republican governor; 17 in states or a territory with a Democratic governor, and 1 in a state with a Libertarian governor. Puerto Rico enacted public benefits corporations in its territory after the Wikipedia chart was created; it has a Democratic governor. 
Stakeholder Capitalism principles almost precisely align with those of public benefits corporation statues. According to, “A public benefit corporation is a corporation created specifically to benefit the public in some way. The focus is on both profit and mission alignment...Benefit corporations not only have the goal of profit maximization, but they also work to benefit the public in both general and specific ways. Benefit corporations must consider how their selections affect both shareholders and stakeholders.” Because customers, employees, supply chain and distribution partners, and communities in fact are critical to wealth creation, it's common sense to address their needs. 
There are over 3,000 public benefits corporations in the US alone, including nearly two-dozen publicly held companies, notable brand names including Danone North America, Chobani, and Warby Parker. Click here for an EEA YouTube interview with Bart Houlahan, Co-Founder of not-for-profit B Lab, which helped pioneer public benefits corporation statutes and which helps promote and audit corporations seeking public benefits corporation status. He notes that a company does not have to have a statutory public benefits corporation status to benefit from having B corp certification by B Lab. Nearly 6,400 companies in 89 countries have received a B corp certification. 

States With Public Benefits Corp. Statutes By Democratic or Republican Governor

Below is a 2018 Wikipedia chart outlining the status of public benefits corporation statutes in the US and the party of the governor in power at the time of approval added by ESM. Note that Puerto Rico enacted the laws under a Democratic governor following creation of the Wikipedia chart and that some of the states considered most "red" have public benefits corporation statutes signed by well-known conservatives, some of whom have already declared or let known their intentions to run for US president on an anti-ESG slate.
State                     Date Passed    Date Enacted   Party of
Arkansas April 19, 2013 July 18, 2013 Republican
California Oct. 9, 2011 Jan. 1, 2012 Democrat
Colorado May 15, 2013 April 1, 2014 Democrat
Connecticut April 24, 2014 Oct. 1, 2014 Democrat
Delaware July 17, 2013 Aug. 1, 2013 Democrat
Florida June 20, 2014 July 1, 2014 Republican
Hawaii July 8, 2011 July 8, 2011 Democrat
Idaho April 2, 2015 July 1, 2015 Republican
Illinois Aug.  2, 2012 Jan.  1, 2013 Democrat
Indiana April 30, 2015 July 1, 2015 Republican
Kansas March 30, 2017 July 1, 2017 Republican
Kentucky March 7, 2017 July 1, 2017 Republican
Louisiana May 31, 2012 Aug. 1, 2012 Republican
Maryland April 13, 2010 Oct. 1, 2010 Democrat
Massachusetts Aug. 7, 2012 Dec. 1, 2012 Democrat
Minnesota April 29, 2014 Jan. 1, 2015 Democrat
Montana April 27, 2015 Oct. 1, 2015 Democrat
Nebraska April 2, 2014 July 18, 2014 Republican
Nevada May 24, 2013 Jan. 1, 2014 Republican
New Hampshire July 11, 2014 Jan. 1, 2015 Democrat
New Jersey Jan. 10, 2011 March 1, 2011 Republican
New Mexico Feb.  18, 2020 Feb. 18, 2020 Democrat
New York Dec. 12, 2011 Feb. 10, 2012 Democrat
Oregon June 18, 2013 Jan. 1, 2014 Democrat
Pennsylvania Oct. 12, 2012 Jan. 1, 2013 Republican
Rhode Island July 17, 2013 Jan. 1, 2014 Libertarian
South Carolina June 6, 2012 June 14, 2012 Republican
Tennessee May 20, 2015 Jan. 1, 2016 Republican
Texas June 14, 2017 Sept. 1, 2017 Republican
Utah April 1, 2014 May 13, 2014 Republican
Vermont May 19, 2010 July 1, 2011 Republican
Virginia March 26, 2011 July 1, 2011 Republican
Washington, D.C. Feb. 8, 2013 May 1, 2013 Democrat
West Virginia March 31, 2014 July 1, 2014 Democrat
Wisconsin Nov. 27, 2017 Feb. 26, 2018 Republican

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