Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Missouri lawmakers didn't even read this ALEC bill they passed

Jay Nixon
Missouri lawmakers didn't even bother to read an ALEC bill they passed, so blindly did they follow the group's anti-worker, vote-suppressing, corporate-empowering agenda.

The bill was an effort to harass  'navigators' -- people who help consumers, small businesses and employees figure out the best health care plan for themselves. The ALEC bill would have required a navigator to submit fingerprints to the state highway patrol for a background check. But a glaring mistake was found in the bill, since no one apparently read it before voting for it. The bill was simply cut and pasted from one of ALEC's secret handbooks.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon caught the error. The bill referred to the wrong statute -- Public Law 92-554 instead of 92-544.

The Center for Media and Democracy tells us how Nixon vetoed the bill:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that included a drafting error copied-and-pasted from American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation, and criticized ALEC members for having "simply parroted ... the ALEC model act without alteration." 
"While some may believe that such an error is 'close enough' for a model act, it cannot be allowed to become the law of this State," Nixon, a Democrat, wrote in his veto message. "Particularly in an area of the law that is the subject of ongoing litigation, a glaring defect such as this cannot be ignored."
According to CMD, the bill to harass people who work as 'navigators' was one of several ALEC model bills introduced in the Missouri legislature in 2014. As many as 57 Missouri politicians take advantage of ALEC's secret corporate dating service for state lawmakers.

Nixon pointed out the same mistake was made by Kansas lawmakers, whose devotion to other ALEC policies pretty much destroyed the state's ability to create jobs.

ALEC, by the way, supplies proof that a corporate-friendly agenda doesn't create jobs, doesn't stimulate commercial activity and isn't good for small businesses or entrepreneurs. Just check out Wisconsin, where ALEC darling Scott Walker has one of the worst job-creation records in the country.