Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development at the 48th ALEC Annual Meeting

ALEC’s 48th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT in July was a great success, with public and private sector guests attending from across the states—and even the globe.

At the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, we experienced record-setting attendance and robust policy discussions on topics ranging from regulatory sandboxes to beauty services.

The CIED Task Force passed four new model policies and two amendments to existing model policies:

  1. Targeted Regulatory Sandbox Act

This model establishes the framework for innovators, under the observation of regulators, to launch and trial innovative products, services, and models while temporarily bypassing laws or regulations that may conflict or are unsuited for the technology.

  1. Universal Regulatory Sandbox Act

A broader version of the Targeted Regulatory Sandbox Act, the Universal Regulatory Sandbox Act takes an “all inclusive” approach to regulatory sandboxes. Rather than focus on a particular industry (like financial technologies), this model establishes the framework for innovators in all industries, under the observation of regulators, to launch and trial innovative products, services, and models while temporarily bypassing laws or regulations that may conflict or are unsuited for the technology.

  1. Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act

The Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act exempts hairstylists from occupational licensing laws. Individuals who solely want to shampoo, condition, dry, and style hair using basic tools, like blow dryers and brushes, are free to do so without a cosmetology license. The model also exempts (1) eyelash extension application, makeup application, natural hair braiding, and threading, and (2) the salons that provide only such niche services from facility licenses.

  1. Fair and Accountable Public Sector Authority Act

To better ensure government accountability to all residents and that third party employee associations do not have preferential powers beyond what other individuals and groups in the state have, the Fair and Accountable Public Sector Authority Act bans government sector collective bargaining. Nothing in this act interferes with the freedom of public employees to voluntary support and join employee associations or employee associations and government employers from meeting with one another to discuss government workforce policies.

  1. Uniform Worker Classification Act (Amendments to Existing Model Policy)

This Uniform Worker Classification Act simplifies the criteria used to define independent contractors with respect to employment and imposes objective standards on the differentiation of independent contractors from employees. This act also provides for uniformity of a state’s laws where the distinction between employees and independent contractors is relevant. Amendments to the act simplify some language and help strengthen the safe harbor provisions, protecting workers from misclassification.

  1. The Public Employee Rights and Authorization Act (Amendments to Existing Model Policy)

The purpose of this act is to avoid having public employees misled into forfeiting free speech rights and suffering financial losses. By requiring verification of employee consent to pay union dues, this act ensures employees are directly empowered to make decisions to support or not support a labor organization, and by requiring a clear statement of employee rights, this act helps employees make informed membership decisions. Amendments clarify some language to conform with judicial insight.

The CIED Task Force also heard presentations on the following topics:

  1. Home Equity Theft

Joe Luppino-Esposito from the Pacific Legal Foundation presented on home equity theft in America. Home equity theft occurs when the government seizes a home to pay outstanding debt but then keeps any money remaining once the debt is paid. To read more about PLF’s work on home equity theft, click here.

  1. Public-Private Partnerships

Bob Poole from the Reason Foundation presented on possible updates to CIED model policy on public-private partnerships, the Establishing a Public-Private Partnership (P3) Authority Act. To join the working group developing the amendments, email Michael Slabinski here.

Other CIED-related programming that occurred at Annual Meeting includes the following:

  1. Using Public-Private Partnerships to Solve Large-Scale Public Problems Workshop

Attendees learned how public-private partnerships can attract private sector ingenuity and money to help solve large-scale public problems. The Utah Lake Restoration Project is one such project. It will make investments to help remediate environmental harms in the lake all while getting people closer to the third largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. The project will accomplish this by building islands in the lake to protect plants, soil, and marine life and develop a portion of the newly formed island acreage.

  1. Free Market Reforms to Promote Housing Affordability Workshop

A panel of issue experts discussed the increasing housing costs in America. Attendees learned how government regulations raise housing prices by governing where, when, how, and what housing gets built. To join CIED’s working group focusing on housing affordability solutions, email Michael Slabinski here.

The CIED Task Force also hosts a monthly working group call that features speakers on relevant and pressing issues challenging people across the states. If you would like to be added to the email list for these calls, please email Michael Slabinski here. The next call will be on free market ways to promote opportunity.

The next ALEC conference is the States and Nation Policy Summit. It runs from December 1st through December 3rd and will be located in San Diego, CA. Registration opens soon.

In Depth: Business

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