ALEC Digital Exchange 12-19-2013

ALEC’s weekly email update for the week of 12-19-2013

The Digital Exchange is Going on Vacation – It Will Return January 9

Leadership and staff wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a wonderful start to the New Year.

We look forward to working with you in 2014.    

600 px line
NEW REPORT: The Natural Resource Reserve

The Task Force on Energy, Environment & Agriculture (EEA) has published a new policy guide to help members navigate the task force’s wide variety of issue areas, from energy, climate change, environmental and chemical regulation, to agriculture technology, regulatory reform, federal-state relations and much more.

The Natural Resource Reserve will make it easier to find model policies based on specific issue areas of interest.  


For more information on specific EEA model policy, contact John Eick at (531) 482-5008 or

600 px line
Universal Service Funds Webinar Materials Now Available:
Slide decks from last week’s successful webinar, USF 101: Policy Basics and Issues in Universal are now available.
You can download the slide decks by clicking here and here. Please consider joining other
educations webinars in 2014.
For more information about this or other Communications and Technology Task Force webinars, pleases contact John Stephenson at (571) 482-5046 or 
600 px line
States and Nation Policy Summit Speeches Are Now Online


Speeches from the States and Nation Policy Summit are now online, including U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (WI), Grover Norquist, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX), Governor Mike Pence (IN), State Senator Mark Green (TN-22) and Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1).

You can view the speeches on our YouTube page.

600 px line
American Legislative Exchange Council in the news

Overcriminalizing Americans wastes money and ruins lives

In an op-ed for, Cara Sullivan, director of the Justice Performance Project at the American Legislative Exchange Council, describes in detail how the size and nature of America’s body of criminal law threatens the liberties and livelihoods of every American through overcriminalization.


Policymakers should prioritize criminal justice spending and reserve precious public safety resources by carefully considering what constitutes criminal actions and requiring the government to prove an individual acted with ill intent to prosecute them for everyday activities they had no idea were illegal.

Read the full post here. 


Electronic surveillance capacity of state, local government creates strange bedfellows

ALEC member, the Honorable Garry Smith, SC (HD-27), joins the South Carolina House Democrat Leader and the executive director of the South Carolina ACLU in an oped supporting policy to regulate government monitoring of citizens.


It has never been so cheap and so easy for our governmental agencies to access and record the details of our daily lives. And it doesn’t end with cell phone searches…


The fact that we have the technological ability to monitor citizens 24/7 doesn’t mean we should. We and all our elected representatives have a crucial role to play in determining which uses are appropriate, which ones cross the line and what privacy protections should be in place when cutting-edge technology is used for surveillance and policy investigations.


Read the full post here.


Are you subsidizing another state’s air pollution?

The Hill’s Brian Potts cites the American Legislative Exchange Council in an article about the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments about the EPA’s ability to regulate cross-state, or interstate, air pollution.


The Supreme Court will now decide, and its decision could have enormous economic impacts. On the low-end, EPA estimates an annual cost to comply with the rule of about $2 billion, while the non-partisan American Legislative Exchange Council estimates that compliance costs will exceed $120 billion within the first few years of implementation.

Read the full article here. 

Examiner Editorial: The Left’s Tides Foundation is leader in secret political money

A Washington Examiner editorial focuses on evidence of ideological bias in the media’s coverage of the American Legislative Exchange Council.


A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars.

Read the full article here.

600 px line
This Week’s Hot Reads 

Oil Shipments Through KXL’s Southern Leg To Begin Next Month

December 18, 2013 – National Journal 


Does opposition to fracking pose environmental risk?

December 17, 2013 – Fox News

As deadline looms, health care limbo

December 17, 2013 –


How To Get Broadband On Planes — And Everywhere Else

December 16, 2013 – Forbes

600 px line
What’s New on The American Legislator Blog?

Header - American Legislator

In case you missed it this week on our American Legislator blog, John Eick, legislative analyst for the Task Force on Energy, Environment and Agriculture, focuses on the improving unemployment rates in energy producing states.


On this blog we have previously written about an apparent link between energy producing states and improving unemployment rates. Between 1995 and 2011, the four states that saw their unemployment rates improve at the greatest rate compared to the national average are   significant energy producers: West Virginia, North Dakota, Alaska, and Louisiana.


Read the full blog post here.