ALEC Celebrates Sunshine Week 2024

This week, from March 10-16, ALEC celebrates “Sunshine Week.” Started in 2005 by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Sunshine Week exists to promote open and transparent government.

Transparency is an important value to us at ALEC, with model policies ensuring transparency in taxation, education, health care, and criminal justice. Below are just a few examples of our trusted policy solutions.

Truth in Taxation Act

Our Truth in Taxation Act aims to reduce the growth of property taxes by increasing transparency and accountability for elected officials. It does this by requiring notification of intent to increase the property tax rate at least ten days before holding a public hearing where citizens can voice their concerns and vote to approve the property tax increase.

Listen to ALEC Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy Jonathan Williams discuss the need for transparency in property taxes on WMT Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa here.

Taxpayer Receipt Act

ALEC’s Taxpayer Receipt Act promotes transparency by requiring the department of state revenue to provide individual taxpayers in the state who filed for a return in the previous taxable year an electronic taxpayer receipt explaining how their taxes are being used. It also requires the department to create a web page where individuals can access this information.

Academic Transparency Act

Curriculum transparency and parental involvement in education has grown increasingly important over the past couple of years, and ALEC’s Academic Transparency Act seeks to address this issue. This model policy requires public schools to have procedures in place for the online disclosure of learning materials for grades Pre-K-12, which allows parents access to view what their child is being taught. Curriculum transparency is crucial for parents to have trust in their child’s school and make informed decisions regarding their education.

Career Transparency Act

ALEC’s Career Transparency Act requires states to make a variety of statistics and information, such as average starting wage for various degree programs, student debt statistics, and graduation and employment rates of students in the state, publicly available. This transparency allows students to make an informed decision about whether they will enroll in further education and what field they will pursue a career in.

Textbook Cost Transparency Act

Cost transparency is an important issue across policy areas, but it is especially important to college and university students calculating their educational expenses. ALEC’s Textbook Cost Transparency Act requires public colleges and universities to disclose any fee amounts, student data terms of use, and opt-out procedures within their course schedules at least a month ahead of the start of the academic term.

ALEC’s Education and Workforce Development Task Force Director Andrew Handel was featured in a Stateline news article discussing the Textbook Cost Transparency Act here.

Hospital Price Transparency Act

ALEC’s Hospital Price Transparency Act aims to empower patients and lower the cost of health care by requiring healthcare facilities to disclose the prices of certain items and services provided by certain medical facilities and make them easily accessible to patients online, provide administrative penalties, and prohibit collective action of debt for noncompliant facilities.

To learn more about hospital price transparency, check out ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson and Health and Human Services Senior Director Brooklyn Roberts’ op-ed in the Orange County Register, To empower patients, price transparency is key.

You can also watch Brooklyn speak on price transparency in health care here.

Resolution in Support of Police Data Transparency

Transparency is key to ensuring trust in our justice system. ALEC’s Resolution in Support of Police Data Transparency supports the systematic collection and publication of police performance metrics, including uses of force by a police officer, assaults against officers, arrests based on race and ethnicity of officer and motorist, search warrant requests and outcomes, and officers that have been terminated with cause or resigned while under investigation for misconduct.

Read more about ALEC’s model policies in our publication, Essential Policy Solutions for 2024.