Model Policies Annual Meeting 2013

Model Policies Annual Meeting 2013

In August 2013, ALEC members met in Chicago to discuss and debate new model policies. Below is a full list of newly adopted policies from the 2013 Annual Meeting.

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

Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force

Temporary Help Unemployment Insurance Act

Summary: This Act requires, as a condition of unemployment benefit eligibility, that temporary employees contact their temporary help employer for new work upon completion of their temporary assignment. The Act also requires that temporary employees be informed of this requirement.

Communications and Technology Task Force

Information Security Management Act

Summary: An act concerning cyber security for communication and information resources in public agencies, and making an appropriation in connection therewith.

Education Task Force

The Honest Transcript Act 

Summary: The Honest Transcript Bill looks to correct grade inflation by requiring all public colleges and universities to include on student transcripts—alongside the individual grade the student received for each class—the average grade given by the professor for the entire class. This would help potential employers learn whether a given high grade-point average signifies superlative talent or merely that the student completed undemanding courses.

Informed Student Document Act 

Summary: To aid students and their parents, the Informed Student Document Act would publish the following outcomes by which a state’s universities can be compared:

  1. “Sticker-price” tuition relative to other institutions
  2. Net price, after grants and scholarships, relative to other institutions
  3. Retention rate relative to other institutions
  4. Graduation rate relative to other institutions
  5. Average student debt relative to other institutions
  6. Loan repayment rates relative to other institutions
  7. Employment potential relative to other institutions.
  8. Average starting salaries for each academic major (gleaned from national employment surveys).

In addition to posting this information online, all potential applicants to a state college or university would receive this document in their application packet.

The Collegiate Learning Assessment Act

Summary: This model legislation requires public colleges and universities to administer the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to all students during their freshman and senior years. The schools would also be required to publish the results, broken down by academic majors.

The act focuses on transparency in student-learning outcomes as the first step toward raising public awareness about areas of academic strength and weakness in certain schools and majors. This would guide prospective students toward schools and majors shown to yield significant increases in learning.

Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act 

Summary: The Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act would require the [State Board of Education/State Department of Education] to make publicly available an inventory and index of all data elements with definitions of individual student data fields currently in the statewide longitudinal data system. The [State Board of Education/State Department of Education] would be required to create a data security plan, ensuring compliance with federal and state data privacy laws and policies. Certain contracts would be required to include privacy and security provisions. A Chief Privacy Officer will be created within the State Department of Education whose primary mission includes ensuring department-wide compliance with all privacy laws and regulations. This bill adds new annual security and privacy reporting requirements to the Governor and Legislature.

Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force

Market-Power Renewables Act

Summary: This bill is designed for states with a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) on the books where passage of the ALEC model Electricity Freedom Act would be unlikely.  Instead of an entire repeal of a state’s RPS, this bill removes the regulatory burdens that prevent electricity ratepayers from purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), in effect creating a voluntary market for renewable energy.  The state’s existing RPS is recalculated annually, reducing the existing renewable energy requirement by the state’s voluntary RECs share.  The remaining RPS is then eliminated in 2025.

Pre-emption of Local Agriculture Laws Act

Summary: This bill makes legislative finding and declaration that regulation of agricultural seed, flower seed, and vegetable seed and products of agriculture seed, flower seed, and vegetable seed be reserved to the state.  This bill prohibits enactment or enforcement of local measures to regulate agricultural seed, flower seed, and vegetable seed or products of agricultural seed, flower seed, and vegetable seed.

Renewable Energy Credit Act

Summary: Some state RPS programs were designed to place artificial caps on the number of renewable energy credits that can be used to satisfy a state’s renewable energy requirement.  Furthermore, many of these programs limit where utilities can purchase credits.  This proposed model legislation would remove these caps and allow credits from any party—but not limited to private citizens, businesses, and merchant renewable electricity producers—to satisfy a state’s existing RPS program.  This proposed legislation also contains a provision encouraging utilities to evaluate new and existing options for citizens and businesses to participate in voluntary markets for renewable energy credits and determine if increased advertising and marketing would increase participation levels.

Resolution in Opposition to a Carbon Tax

Summary: This resolution opposes all federal or state efforts to impose a carbon tax whether or not it is revenue neutral.

Resolution in Support of Electric Power Grid Modernization Principles

Summary: Several state legislatures and state public utility commissions are examining ways to modernize their electric power grids.  These efforts to modernize electric power grids have raised significant issues relating to reliability, efficiency, privacy, and cyber-security, among others, for policymakers and consumers to consider.  To assist policymakers as they consider these issues, this resolution establishes foundational principles for electric power grid modernization.

Health and Human Services Task Force

Resolution on Negative Impact of Government-Mandated Rate Caps on Health Insurance

Summary: This resolution opposes government-mandated rate caps on health insurance premiums as they are a form of price control that negatively affects the cost and quality of healthcare by increasing costs for consumers and reducing competition.

Freedom to Purchase Medical Services Act

Summary: This bill protects a patient’s right to purchase health care services that are not covered by the patient’s insurance or Medicaid plan. Patients may pay out-of-pocket for such services and health care professionals may accept those out-of-pocket payments. Further, this bill stipulates that the provision of medical services purchased and provided under the provisions of the bill shall not be deemed an offer of insurance nor be regulated by the insurance laws of the state.

Health Care Freedom Act

Summary: This bill prohibits health insurers from accepting federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that trigger the employer mandate. Health insurers accepting subsidies shall have their license to issue new business suspended for all business on exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.

International Relations Task Force

Resolution Urging the Presidential Administration to Sign Bilateral Investment Agreement with Taiwan 

Summary: The U.S.-Taiwan relationship has been characterized by increasing economic investment and democratic liberties. Together, the United States and Taiwan have effectively joined forces to increase both the level of cooperation and trust between the two countries. While Taiwan maintains normal trade relations status with the United States and ready access to U.S. markets, further opportunities for economic growth and development exist. As such, this resolution, in keeping with the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC’s) principle of expanding free markets, calls for the formation of a Bilateral Investment Agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

Resolution to Highlight Challenges and Opportunities in the US-India Trade Relationship

Summary: The United States and India are the world’s two largest democracies and are currently experiencing their largest bilateral trade and investment flows ever recorded, with total goods and services traded in 2011 recorded at $100 billion. However, India has recently begun implementing anti-competitive economic policies and recent policy, regulatory and legal decisions have demonstrated an alarming disregard for accepted international intellectual property rights. This is a troubling development for India and its trading partners. As Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) puts it, by embracing this practice of innovation mercantilism, India “risks compromising the gains the Indian economy has made over the past two decades in addition to harming foreign firms and the global economy.” This resolution outlines some of India’s mercantilist practices underscoring their inconsistency with free market principles and international intellectual property norms. We will also highlight how India’s current protectionist trends threaten to stifle its own economy. Steps to be taken to discourage some of India’s troublesome practices are offered.

Resolution Supporting the Successful Negotiation of a Comprehensive and Commercially Meaningful Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Summary: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement has the potential to be the largest trade framework ever negotiated underscoring the importance of ensuring that it is a high standard, comprehensive agreement with strong intellectual property provisions.  In keeping with the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC’s) support of the Jeffersonian principle of free markets and ALEC’s past support of a wide variety of trade frameworks, this resolution supports the negotiation and final ratification of such an agreement.

Updates to Resolution Urging Congress to Pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) 

Summary: Drawing on ALEC’s guiding free market principles, this resolution calls on Congress to support negotiations for a high standard, comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a multilateral trade framework currently being negotiated by nations on both sides of the Pacific. These nations are at varying levels of development and the agreement has the flexibility to expand to accept new members. The TPP has the potential to become the benchmark against which future trade frameworks will be measured for years to come.

Resolution for Reform of Counterproductive Export Control Policies 

Summary: A number of American goods and products have potentially lucrative export markets but are unable to access them because of misguided and often outdated export control restrictions.  This resolution seeks to identify export control regulations that have outlived their usefulness and resolve to address and correct these policies once identified.

State Legislature United Compact

Summary: This model policy establishes the parameters for the establishment of a state legislatures compact.  All member states of the compact will have enacted legislation that compels it to be bound by the compact and to establish a commission.  The commission’s sole purpose is to meet to draft, discuss, propose and debate and/or adopt model legislation to protect the balance of power between the states and the federal government as defined in the US Constitution.

Resolution on State Jurisdiction and Supremacy

Summary: With this model policy ALEC calls on state legislators to establish a modern-day Committees of Correspondence network among the states in order to restore the state-federal balance of power expressed in the US Constitution.

Resolution on State and Political Subdivision Jurisdiction

Summary: This join resolution of the Legislature declares and asserts the jurisdictional right of a state and its political subdivisions to respond to and take action when conditions on federally managed land in the state adversely affect or may adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the people of the state.

State and Political Subdivision Jurisdiction Act

Summary: This is the act needed to implement the Draft Resolution on State and Political Subdivision Jurisdiction which asserts the right of a state and/or the appropriate political subdivision to take action on federally managed land to protect the health, safety and welfare of the state’s residents.

Justice Performance Project

Resolution in Support of Availability of Certificate of Rehabilitation in Cases Involving Certain Nonviolent Offenses

Summary: This Resolution recognizes the importance of adopting policies that provide discretion to enable those convicted of a certain nonviolent offense to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation after a reasonable period of exemplary conduct and demonstration of rehabilitation following their offense.

The Reporting of Seizure and Forfeiture Act

Summary: This Act establishes reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies that have the authority under state or federal law to seize property and sell it to fund agency budgets.

Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force

Resolution in Opposition to a Carbon Tax

Summary: This resolution opposes all federal or state efforts to impose a carbon tax whether or not it is revenue neutral.

An Act Relating to Tax Expenditure Transparency

Summary: The legislature finds that the state’s tax code includes tax expenditures enacted to achieve a variety of policy goals for the public interest. The ultimate goal should be for the state’s tax system to reflect sound principles of taxation.  In order to make policy choices going forward regarding the best use of limited state resources, the legislature concludes that legislative intent, the policy goals, and any related metrics should be stated for each tax expenditure that is created.