ALEC 101

According to ALEC’s website,

“ALEC is an organization consisting of state legislators and corporate representatives, whose aim is to introduce legislation at the state level to advance the principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 charitable organization that has existed since the 1960s. In recent years, it has become infamous in its efforts to influence members of state legislatures throughout the country to adopt model legislation ALEC creates through various industry “task forces” that focus on corporate interests. Although the most famous of these, the so called “Stand Your Ground” law, received much attention in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, many others quietly become law. Examples range from legislation that prevents farmers from protesting the nearby plantings of genetically modified seeds to requiring users of solar panels to pay a subsidy to utility companies. Other task forces highlight efforts to, among others, reduce the advocacy of labor, to increase the prevalence of private prisons and to inhibit the ability of states to dictate protocols for identifying railcar contents.

ALEC divides itself into nine task forces:

1. Civil Justice

2. Energy, Environment & Agriculture

3. Commerce, Insurance, Economic Development

4. Communication & Technology

5. Education

6. Tax & Fiscal Policy

7. Public Safety & Elections*
*Defunct since 2012. Some of its tasks have been taken on by the newly created Justice Performance Project.

8. Health & Human Services

9. International Relations

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