ALEC Digital Exchange 11-14-2013

ALEC’s weekly email update for the week of 11-14-2013

Early Bird Rates and Hotel Room Block End TODAY


The deadlines for Early Bird rates and hotel reservations end TODAY.


Don’t wait any longer: register NOW for the States and Nation Policy Summit, December 4-6.

The Honorable Paul Ryan, WI (CD-1) will be a guest speaker at The Thomas Jefferson Reception on Wednesday, December 4. Author of “The Path to Prosperity,” a plan to seriously address the nation’s struggling economy, and as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Congressman Ryan’s tenure is marked by his adamant commitment to limited government and free markets.

Below is a list of other SNPS receptions and meetings: 


Hats off to Texas: A 41st Annual Meeting Preview Reception – Wednesday, December 4

Jingle Bell Rock: The ALEC Holiday Party  – Thursday, December 5

Task Force Meetings – December 5-6, following the Plenary Lunches


Click here to view the full agenda of speakers and events to plan your trip.

All events and receptions may only be attended by those registered for the full conference.   


Spots are filling quickly. Register today to secure your spot in this year’s Summit. 

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NEXT THURSDAY: Digital Learning Webinar, November 21


On Thursday, November 21 at 1 p.m. ET, the Task Force on Education will hold a digital learning webinar featuring Utah Senator Howard Stephenson (SD-11) and Don Lee of K12, Inc.

This webinar will examine ways for state legislators to advance best practices in digital learning and discuss examples of successfully deployed digital learning software.

To attend this digital learning webinar, please RSVP to Ed Walton at
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Congressional Hearing: Education and the ACA

The consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not limited to the health industry. Earlier today, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN) held a hearing titled  “The Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Schools, Colleges, and Universities.”


The ACA affects schools, universities and colleges across the country. For example, the law’s punitive mandates force K-12 schools to reduce the work hours of substitute teachers, teacher aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and other part-time employees. Students, families, and taxpayers will ultimately experience the consequences of these changes through higher costs and reduced access to important educational opportunities.


Click here for more information on how the ACA is affecting the nation’s schools.

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Newly Released: Criminalizing America


The average American inadvertently commits an estimated three felonies a day.

This explosion of criminal statutes has little to do with protecting our communities; it is simply another symptom of the expansive reach of big government.

The Justice Performance Project has released a new report to address these issues. Criminalizing America – How Big Government Makes a Criminal of Every American outlines the problem of overcriminalization in the states, explains how it harms both the U.S. economy and individual liberty, and proposes common-sense solutions for state policymakers seeking to stem the tide of overreaching criminal laws.

Click here to download the report.

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NEXT MONDAY: Traversing the Teacher-Evaluation Terrain


The Thomas B. Fordham Institute invites you to join a discussion on teacher-evaluation reform: 

Monday, November 18, 2013
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET 

Thomas B. Fordham Institute
1016 16th Street, NW, 8th Floor 7
Washington, D.C. 20036

For more information or to register for the live or webcast audience, click here..

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American Legislative Exchange Council in the news

Criminalizing America





Cara Sullivan, director of the Justice Performance Project for the American Legislative Exchange Council, writes on RedState about the increasing intrusion of the federal government into our daily lives, specifically as it relates to the criminal justice system, where the rising tide of overcriminalization is affecting the livelihoods and liberties of all Americans: 

Behavior that is illegal simply because the law makes it so, rather than because it is morally blameworthy, constitutes a growing percentage of all criminalized conduct. Such offenses extend the role of the criminal justice system beyond protecting communities and ensuring justice to the point where it is used to regulate what unelected, career bureaucrats deem undesirable behavior. 


Read the full post here.




Michigan Senate seeks federal ‘balanced budget amendment’ to U.S. Constitution




MLive’s Jonathan Oosting quotes State Senator Mike Green, MI (SD-31) in an article on Michigan’s Senate recent adoption of a joint resolution petitioning Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution by requiring a balanced budget each year. 


Senate Joint Resolution V is similar to measures adopted by several states and includes language found in model policy offered by the American Legislative Exchange Council:


The resolution, approved in a 26-12 party-line vote and now headed to the House, would align Michigan with at least 17 other states seeking to force the federal government to balance its budget. 


‘Before they even start kindergarten, my 2-1/2 year-old twin grandsons are stuck with six figures of national debt,’ Green said. ‘And by the way, those numbers are growing every day. The national debt is growing faster than our economy and is expected to skyrocket well over $21 trillion by 2017. Folks, that’s a credit card that we’re handing off to our kids and grandkids. And that’s just crazy.’


Read the full article here.

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More Than Scores: Why Parents Choose Private Schools 

A new report released this week by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice finds that  standardized test scores are not a top concern for school choice parents. 

In More Than Scores: An Analysis of Why and How Parents Choose Private Schools, over 750 families participating in Georgia’s GOAL Scholarship Program discussed reasons they chose the private school option, OTHER than standardized test scores: 

  • “better student discipline” (50.9 percent),
  • “better learning environment” (50.8 percent),
  • “smaller class sizes” (48.9 percent),
  • “improved student safety” (46.8 percent), and
  • “more individual attention for my child” (39.3 percent).

Download the full report here.

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This Week’s Hot Reads

The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push

November 12, 2013 – New York Post

U.S. Nears Energy Independence by 2035 on Shale Boom, IEA Says

November 12, 2013 – Bloomberg 

Fixing California: Higher taxes don’t mean a better life

November 09, 2013 – UT San Diego  


Amid glitches, uninsured are not flocking to Obamacare: poll

November 08, 2013 – The Washington Times

The Top Three Cybersecurity Threats You Aren’t Considering 

November 07, 2013 – Forbes

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What’s New on The American Legislator Blog?

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In case you missed it this week on our American Legislator blog, Fara Klein, legislative analyst for the Center for State Fiscal Reform, discusses Maryland’s “Rain Tax”: 


Maryland’s Carroll County recently received a letter from Assistant Attorney General Paul DeSantis, threatening to fine the county $10,000 for each day that it does not enact a storm water remediation fee, also known as a ‘Rain Tax.’


The infamous Rain Tax bill came as a response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘pollution diet’ known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. The ‘pollution diet’ requires reductions in pollutants that are primarily found in drainage run-off and fertilizers. The bill was signed by Governor O’Malley this past April and requires 10 of Maryland’s 24 counties to charge an annual rain tax. Carroll County is one of 10 counties that have decided not to enact a fee, voting instead to set aside funds for general storm water projects.


Read the full blog post here.