Model Policies Spring Task Force Summit 2014

In May 2014, ALEC members met in Kansas City to discuss and debate new model policies. Below is a full list of newly adopted policies from the 2014 Spring Task Force Summit.

All model policies are subject to review and reaffirmation every five years.

Civil Justice Task Force

Public Participation Protection Act

Summary: The ALEC Public Participation Protection Act is intended to encourage and safeguard public participation in civic society. Some have abused the civil justice system by filing, or threatening to file, lawsuits against those who express their views on matters of public concern. The goal of such lawsuits is not to win on the merits. Rather, the purpose of the lawsuit is to discourage, intimidate, retaliate against and, ultimately, silence critics by forcing them to spend time and money to defend themselves in litigation.

Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force

Local Investment Made Easy (LIME) Act

Summary: Investment crowdfunding—raising money through small contributions from a large number of investors—provides start-ups and smaller enterprises with access to the capital they need to start new business ventures. It also provides the public with the opportunity to invest in ideas, people and businesses in their community, which fosters economic growth and job opportunities for the state. The Local Investment Made Easy Act facilitates intrastate investment crowdfunding by creating an exemption in state securities law that allows for the crowdfunding of projects within the state. The Act also establishes protections for investors and the public through disclosure requirements, issuer caps and investment limits.

Public Employee Choice Act

Summary: Government employees and any unions they may designate to represent them are excluded from National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and are instead subject to state and local laws governing collective bargaining. Many of these laws are “monopoly bargaining laws,” meaning that even in states with right-to-work legislation —which bars payment of dues or fees as a condition of employment — employees are still forced to accept a union as their sole representative in the workplace. Similarly, unions are required to represent employees who do not wish to be represented. Employees do not have the right to negotiate their own contract or adjust their own grievances, or secure their own representation in disciplinary hearings with their employer.

This act establishes the workers’ right to opt-out of union representation and represent themselves, as well as allowing unions to forgo representation of non-dues or fee payers. It does not change the rubric of collective bargaining in any other way except that, under the act, a worker has the choice to either remain in a union that has achieved majority consent from the employees in the unit, or to fully and independently represent themselves.

Resolution on Binding Arbitration for Public Employees

Summary: Binding arbitration of labor disputes hampers the ability of local officials to make their own personnel decisions by allowing a third party, accountable to neither local officials nor taxpayers, to unilaterally decide the terms of a union contract. [Insert state] believes that this practice should no longer be used as a means of resolving impasses in collective bargaining.

Communications and Technology Task Force

Local Investment Made Easy (LIME) Act

Summary: Investment crowdfunding—raising money through small contributions from a large number of investors—provides start-ups and smaller enterprises with access to the capital they need to start new business ventures. It also provides the public with the opportunity to invest in ideas, people and businesses in their community, which fosters economic growth and job opportunities for the state. The Local Investment Made Easy Act facilitates intrastate investment crowdfunding by creating an exemption in state securities law that allows for the crowdfunding of projects within the state. The Act also establishes protections for investors and the public through disclosure requirements, issuer caps and investment limits.

Resolution on Unlicensed Spectrum in the 5 GHz band

Summary: This draft model resolution recognizes the remarkable new uses for wifi to enable more wireless broadband connectivity and the increasing demand on the nation’s radio spectrum that such uses create. This resolution expresses support for the Federal Communications Commission’s move to allocate additional radio spectrum for unlicensed use in order to meet increased demand for wireless technologies like wifi.

Education Task Force

Teacher Quality Assurance Act

Summary: This model policy prohibits a school district from utilizing a last-hired, first-fired layoff policy when reducing staff. Additionally, the model policy requires the Education Interim Committee, in consultation with the State Board of Education, to study how the performance of teachers may be evaluated for the purpose of awarding or eliminating teacher career employee status.

Student Futures Program Act

Summary: This act creates a career planning program.

Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force

Resolution Concerning the Oil and Gas Lease Approval Process on Federal Lands

Summary: This resolution recognizes the current difficulty in securing a lease for oil and gas production on federal lands, the significant decline in acres of federal land currently under lease, and the potential economic boon to States if energy development on federal land is allowed to occur. This resolution calls upon the Bureau of Land Management to expedite the existing approval process and calls upon Congress to streamline the existing lease approval process.

Electric Transmission Line Siting Compact

Summary: Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, states are authorized to enter into interstate compacts that can forestall federal preemption acts if states cooperatively develop a transmission siting process. Recognizing that States have a vested interest in retaining their sovereignty, this compact provides language that balances the interests of stakeholders and provides a mechanism to resolve differences, bring interested parties together, and move projects forward.

Health and Human Services Task Force

Patient Access Expansion Act

Summary

This act prohibits the state from requiring any form of the Federation of State Medical Boards’ proprietary Maintenance of Licensure program, including any Maintenance of Licensure program tied to Maintenance of Certification, as a condition of medical licensure, and additionally prohibits the state from requiring Specialty Medical Board Certification and Maintenance of Certification in order to practice medicine within the state. This act also prohibits state medical boards, and any agencies or facilities accepting state funding, from discriminating against physicians who do not maintain specialty medical board re-certification. This act in no way is intended to discourage lifelong learning or continuing medical education, and does not change the current status of physician licensure.

Justice Performance Project Task Force

Resolution on the Release of Inmates Directly from Solitary Confinement

Summary: This resolution addresses the failed practice of releasing prison inmates directly from solitary confinement to the public. Research has shown that by taking someone who has been segregated with no stimulation for 23 hours a day and then releasing them directly to general society, the rate of recidivism, and especially violent recidivism, is increased dramatically. Accordingly, prisons should step down inmates to a lower level of custody prior to their release.

Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force

Retirement System Board of Trustees and Retirement System Employees Prudent Investor Act

Summary: This policy promotes security, stability, and accountability in state retirement systems. A trustee or director of a state retirement system must comply with a series of prudent investor guidelines. These guidelines include risk and return objectives, diversification, loyalty, investment costs, compliance, and delegation of management functions.

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