PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City to discuss economic issues in the United States. He said he would not want the U.S. Central Bank to create a federally-controlled, centralized digital currency, and said doing so would impact residents, and create more avenues for them to “exercise their agenda.”

DeSantis said the state of Florida would be calling on the legislature to expressly forbid centralized bank digital currencies for use in the state’s commercial code, as a method of protecting Floridians from economic or financial surveillance.

“As we’ve come to learn, any way they can get into society to exercise their agenda, they will do it,” DeSantis said. “So what the central bank digital currency is about it surveilling Americans and controlling behavior of Americans.”

He said this was known due to examples such as in other countries. DeSantis said centralized digital currency was a way to implement more control over the populace, referencing the way such system, according to the governor, operates in China, Nigeria, and the Bahamas as examples.

“I don’t even need to think here, what are they gonna do? These ESG factors, you go and buy gasoline, if you bought too much gasoline, they just won’t allow you to use this to make a transaction,” DeSantis said. “Who knows whether they would let you buy a firearm or things they disapprove of, so you’re opening up a can of worms and handing a central bank huge amounts of power.”

DeSantis said giving the bank more control would allow them to use their power to implement an agenda, saying that federal action had skipped approval of Congress.

As far as DeSantis’ speculation on the impacts of a centralized currency in the U.S., he did not cite any sources for his concerns, instead alleging the moves would happen due to political motives in a “politically connected” central bank.

Turning to the plan to block the centralized currency, conceptually, DeSantis called on other states to join him in the strategy.

The governor introduced other speakers, who discussed pushing back on using monetary policy to discriminate what DeSantis has referred to as marginalized groups, mentioning political and religious affiliations.

When the governor returned to the podium, he said the financial agendas or policies such as environmental, social, and governance considerations were being used because they would “not win at the ballot box.”

A release from the governor’s office listed the legislation’s goals as:

  • Expressly prohibiting the use of a federally adopted Central Bank Digital Currency as money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
  • Instituting protections against a central global currency by prohibiting any CBDC issued by a foreign reserve or foreign sanctioned central bank.
  • Calling on likeminded states to join Florida in adopting similar prohibitions within their respective Commercial Codes to fight back against this concept nationwide.

During a question and answer session, DeSantis was asked about a potential indictment and criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

“So, I’ve seen rumors swirl, I have not seen any facts yet so I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know this, that the Manhattan District Attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor,” DeSantis said. “So, he like other Soros-funded prosecutors, weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”

DeSantis said the DA in Manhattan had made policy decisions that reduced arrests and penalties, and that while he couldn’t speak to the Trump situation specifically, the prosecutor was “ignoring crimes happening every single day” and that going back years in the past to “use porn star hush money” to indict someone was wrong, and political in nature. He said the real victims were ordinary New Yorkers and Americans, harmed by “reckless political agendas” from “Soros-funded DAs.”

“I’m just glad that I’m the only governor in the country that’s removed one from office during my tenure,” DeSantis said.

Turning to the specific-to-Trump potential indictment, DeSantis said Florida would not be involved in a political “spectacle.”

Another question, focused more on extradition of Trump, asked if DeSantis was aware of communication between law enforcement in both states regarding how to arraign the former president. DeSantis said he was not aware of any such planning at this time.

Answering a question about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, DeSantis said as a bank where venture capitalists and other “high-powered” individuals went to, the failure “shouldn’t be a surprise.” Citing COVID deposit practices, he said the bank grew quickly, but that mismanagement and rapidly increased interest rates had all been factors in the bank’s failure.

DeSantis asked if the reckoning over those financial missteps be placed on Americans, or placed on the banks themselves, saying that he thought doing a bail out would cause more problems than would be solved.

The governor said the current way federal economic leaders were operating was in need of correction, citing concern over the policy decisions made in the past two years.