The Teachers Retirement System (TRS) supported the proposal presented to Lowe’s annual shareholders meeting by the Educational Foundation of America (EFA), an organization whose mission is to “Advance[e] progressive change through the support of creative initiatives aimed at sustainability, justice and equity.
During these general meetings, the shareholders of the company meeting certain criteria can submit proposals to the voting body. The company’s board of directors evaluates each proposal and recommends approval or rejection of the item.
This specific item Lily:
“RESOLVED: Shareholders call on Lowe’s to issue a public report by December 31, 2022, omitting confidential and inside information and at a reasonable cost, detailing all known and potential risks and costs to the company caused by the policies of State adopted or proposed policies severely restricting reproductive health care, and detailing any strategies beyond litigation and legal compliance that the Company can deploy to minimize or mitigate these risks.
The proposal for the article came after a leak The U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion showed enough support on the body to overturn the legal precedents of Roe vs. Wade and Family planning c. Casey.
In support of its article, the EFA wrote: “If Roe v. Wade were to be weakened or canceled as is widely anticipated, many Lowe’s employees will struggle to access abortion care and other sexual and reproductive health care.
After naming Texas’ Senate Bill 8the Texas Heartbeat LawEFA adds, “At its discretion, the board’s analysis may include any effects on hiring, retention and productivity of employees, and decisions regarding the closure or expansion of operations in states proposing or enacting restrictive laws and strategies such as any corporate public policy advocacy, related political contribution policies and human resource or educational strategies.
In opposition, the society’s board said it would be too difficult to compile a set of costs related to the patchwork of abortion laws in all 50 states.
The result of this vote has not yet been released by Lowe’s.
TRS officials did not respond to an inquiry into the situation at press time.
TRS has nearly 1.7 million members statewide and has raised $50.6 billion in unfunded liabilities — money pledged to recipients but not accounted for at current funding levels.
A similar incident occurred last month with the state’s second-largest pension fund, the Employees Retirement System (ERS), when the organization voted by proxy for four proposals to different banks to ban the financing of fossil fuel companies. Every element failed, and ERS officials said it stemmed from an error with their proxy advisor, Institutional Shareholder Services — but not before inflicting the ire of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and some other lawmakers. of State.
Both sets of proposals are part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement that is gaining momentum on corporate boards across the country. The ESG is a political movement intended to support causes such as environmentalism and progressive social policies. Lowe’s proposal falls under the “social” category, which includes other elements such as race- and gender-focused proposals.
Last year, the Texas legislature passed SC 13 who instructed the Comptroller to withdraw state pension money from companies pushing “fossil fuel boycott” policies. The initial process for narrowing down a list of these SB 13 violating companies is currently in progress and should be completed by the fall.
There will likely be pressure in the next session to extend this relatively narrow scope to other political issues and causes, including a potential ban about banks refusing to lend to fossil fuel companies.