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ALEC Annual Conference: New Bills, New Spin-Offs, Same Corporate Backers

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The American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," met in Dallas on July 30 for its annual meeting. ALEC brings together state legislators and corporate lobbyists to vote on "model" legislation behind closed doors, before those bills are introduced in state houses across the country, stripped of their ALEC origins. As the Kansas City Star has noted, what happens at ALEC meetings "provides a preview for the next state sessions" in legislatures around the country.

What was on tap at ALEC this year? New bad bills, dirty energy, a new lobby shop, and the launch of a spin-off group targeting local governments. Here's a roundup of last week's ALEC coverage.

ALEC Model Bills Promote ALEC Member Profits

As CMD reported, this year's ALEC agenda included model bills that would gut Medicaid, continue the privatization of schools, expand natural gas exports, and undermine EPA rules protecting waterways and limiting carbon pollution.

Many ALEC bills, if enacted, would enrich ALEC sponsors and member corporations. For example, the "Public Charter Schools Act," which would allow privately-operated charter schools to continue taking public funding yet without public accountability, would be a boon for ALEC member K12, Inc., the largest provider of online charter schools in the country.

Legislators also attended a workshop about "Efficiently Engaging the Public-Private Partnership with the Surety Bail Industry," aimed at boosting returns for the for-profit bail industry, whose American Bail Coalition trade group is an ALEC member.   
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