ALEC in Colorado

Uncovering the Influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Colorado Legislature

ALEC brings together corporate representatives and elected officials to create and lobby for passage of “model bills” that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line. The bills typically are drafted and refined at ALEC meetings that are closed to the public and press, then introduced in state legislatures, usually without any public acknowledgement of ALEC’s role in creating and pushing them.

ALEC and ALEC member corporations often pay legislators’ travel expenses to attend ALEC conferences; in other cases, the expense is often passed on to taxpayers. ALEC lobbies on a variety of issues, including taxes and budgets, climate change and the environment, workers’ rights and collective bargaining, healthcare, telecommunications policy, and education.

ALEC was founded in the 1970s but was unknown to most Americans until 2011, when watchdog groups including the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause publicized its lobbying on behalf of vote-suppressing voter ID legislation and “Stand Your Ground” laws. Since then, ALEC’s attacks on workers’ rights, environmental safeguards, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, along with its work to force the calling of an Article V convention that could rewrite the U.S. Constitution, have been exposed, along with other pieces of its policy agenda.