More ALEC News
The midterm elections may have given the embattled American Legislative Exchange Council a new lease on life. ALEC has been bleeding corporate members, but with Republicans now in control of 68 out of 98 state legislative bodies, there are fewer impediments to the enactment of the corporate-friendly legislation that ALEC peddles -- and in early December, ALEC and the corporations that still fund it will likely lay out the legislative blueprint for 2015 at the ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.
“Prior to the sweeping change witnessed in 2010, one must look back to 1896 to see such a momentous shift in leadership at the federal, state and local levels,” wrote ALEC Executive Director Lisa B. Nelson in a November 5 email to ALEC members. Republicans expanded their majorities in many states, took control of 11 legislative chambers that had been held by Democrats, and gained three governorships. She claimed the election results were “a historic victory for limited government, free markets and federalism.”
Yet, the actual policy ideas that ALEC promotes are less popular than ever. Republican and Democratic voters across the country voted overwhelmingly in favor of increasing the minimum wage on election day -- which ALEC and ALEC funders like the National Restaurant Association have long opposed -- and not surprisingly, a top agenda item at ALEC's December meeting is aimed at thwarting efforts to raise the wage. Read the rest of this item here.
by Brendan Fischer
Healthcare for millions of Americans is at stake in the latest Affordable Care Act challenge to reach the U.S. Supreme Court -- and if the Court sides with the challengers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other Koch-funded groups will have laid the groundwork for the healthcare law's destruction.
On November 7, the Court granted review of the case King v. Burwell, which argues that the ACA should be read as prohibiting insurance premium subsidies for low-income citizens in states that refused to set up their own online healthcare exchanges -- which is contrary to the clear intent of the law's drafters and to a reading of the law as a whole. The chief advocate for the interpretation of the ACA advanced by the King plaintiffs is Michael Cannon, a fellow at the Koch-funded Cato Institute.
If the lawsuit is successful, it would have the immediate effect of making health insurance unaffordable for more than four million people, and could kill the ACA altogether.
Read the rest of this item here.