Press Release

Free Market and Limited Government Principles Prevail Across the Nation

State legislatures retain Republican majority


Contact: Ashley Pratte

Free Market and Limited Government Principles Prevail Across the Nation

State legislatures retain Republican majority

Arlington, VA (November 9, 2016) – Against all odds state chambers are becoming more free-market. These landslide victories occurred because ultimately, people prefer the free market, educational choice, freedom of speech and sensible fiscal management. Due to last night’s results, more people are gaining the opportunity to live lives of liberty.

While much of the media coverage is dominated by the federal elections, ALEC has tracked the results of the state legislative races. Republicans have expanded their majorities in nearly every state and now control 32 state legislatures as opposed to 30 in 2014; Democrats now control 13 legislatures as opposed to 11 in 2014. Interestingly, Republicans have a political trifecta in 24 states as opposed to Democrats 6 states. What’s more, only 3 states have split party control.

“No matter the outcome of the election, the states were always going to have a critical role to play. Their significance is highlighted as there is an even greater opportunity to advance the free-market and limited government agenda,” said Lisa B. Nelson ALEC CEO. “The overall trend from last night is we saw Democratic chamber leaders losing their hold in several states, but specifically in Kentucky, Iowa, and Delaware.”

Overall, ALEC saw noteworthy outcomes with some key ballot measures in certain states. Alabama enshrined the Right to Work into their state constitution. While the Right to Work constitutional amendment narrowly failed in Virginia, Virginia remains a Right to Work state. Additionally, states such as Kentucky and Missouri that saw a flip in their leadership and now have the opportunity to enhance liberty and become Right to Work states.

Another trend among ballot measures was the defeat of an increased tobacco tax in Colorado, North Dakota and Missouri. Also of note, Washington defeated the carbon tax increase, which if passed would have been the first carbon tax in the nation. What’s more, the proposed meals tax in Fairfax County, Virginia was defeated and single-payer healthcare was largely defeated in Colorado.


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit: