First Amendment Preservation Act

NOTE: Prior to task force meetings, ALEC posts these legislative member-submitted draft model policies to our website. The draft model policies are then discussed, debated, and voted on by ALEC task force members. Policies that receive final approval by legislators on the ALEC Board of Directors become official ALEC model policy. Draft model policies that fail to become official ALEC model policy are removed from the website.

Summary

The First Amendment Preservation Act prevents States and State agencies from contracting with advertising agencies that utilize the services of misinformation / disinformation media monitors. In addition to ensuring that states do not fund viewpoint discrimination, the First Amendment Preservation Act also ensures that state funding advertising reaches the broadest possible audience without regard for their political ideology. Any state message that is important enough to merit the use of taxpayer funds for advertising merits dissemination to the broadest possible audience regardless of viewpoint.

First Amendment Preservation Act

SECTION 1

DEFINITIONS

As used in this Code section, the term:

(a) ‘Agency’ means any entity of this state, including any department, agency, division, council, bureau, board, commission, political subdivision, public corporation, primary or secondary educational institutions, university system, or authority.

(b) ‘Company’ means any sole proprietorship, organization, association, corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity or business association, including all wholly owned subsidiaries, majority owned subsidiaries, parent companies, or affiliates of such entities or business associations that exist for the purpose of making a profit or are nonprofit entities.

(c) ‘Media monitoring organization’ means any company the function of which is to:

(1) Rate or rank news and information sources for the factual accuracy of their content, whether published online, in print, by audio, or digitally, or by broadcasting via radio, television, cable, streaming service, or any other ways news is delivered to the public; or

(2) Provide ratings or rankings of news sources based on misinformation, bias, adherence to journalistic standards, or ethics, including, but not limited to, organizations that claim to engage in fact checking or determining overall news accuracy;

The term ‘media monitoring organization’ does not include organizations that do not engage in the activities described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this section; that rate media outlets for audience size, viewership, and demographic information: or that monitor media outlets for the purposes of compiling press or video clippings or aggregating news sources for the purposes of public relations and public awareness.

SECTION 2

PROHIBITED CONTRACTS

(a) No agency shall:

(1) Enter into any contract or other agreement with any media monitoring organization;

(2) Enter into any contract or agreement with any advertising or marketing agency that utilizes the services of a media monitoring organization; or

(3) Provide support of any form, other than nondiscretionary actions otherwise required by law, to a media monitoring organization.

(b) An agency shall require a company that submits a bid or proposal with respect to a contract for advertising services to certify that the company is in compliance with paragraph (1) and (2) of subsection (a).

(c) An agency, prior to extending, renewing, or otherwise changing or modifying an agreement or contract for advertising or marketing services in effect on the effective date of this Code section, shall obtain from the contractor a certification that the contractor is in compliance with paragraph (1) and (2) of subsection (a).

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent an agency from contracting for services which aggregate news articles and information relevant to the agency or its constituents or prevent a company from providing analytical or statistical information on the performance of advertisements placed by an agency.

SECTION 3

SEVERABILITY CLAUSE

SECTION 4

REPEALER CLAUSE

SECTION 5

EFFECTIVE DATE