Art Pope Groups Push Extreme ALEC Tax Agenda in North Carolina
Investigative report on how ALEC’s rich-get-richer agenda is behind NC’s brutal 2013 budget and tax plans.
Private conservative group ALEC Carries Sway in NC Legislature
A May 6, 2013 report in the Raleigh News & Observer provides new information on ALEC’s influence on North Carolina’s 2013 legislative session.
A handful of measures sponsored by North Carolina lawmakers this session include language identical to ALEC’s template legislation. At least two dozen more bills match the organization’s priorities and intent, if not its exact language – everything from requiring voter ID at the polls and allowing private school vouchers to repealing the federal health care law and prioritizing energy exploration.
ALEC’s role in North Carolina makes it a target for critics, particularly the think tank’s cozy relationship with business interests, who play a prominent, but mostly behind-the-scenes, role in crafting legislation alongside the roughly 50 North Carolina lawmakers listed as members. (Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/06/2875525/private-group-carries-sway-in.html#storylink=cpy)
See sidebar for some specific examples.
The Hijacking of Charter Schools:
A noted educator describes how ALEC legislators in North Carolina and Senate Bill 337 advance the interests of profit-making corporations while undermining public education in our state.
The pending charter school legislation does not reflect any clamor from North Carolina residents. To the contrary, Republican leaders have essentially downloaded model legislation formulated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing corporate group that mounted a multi-prong attack on public education throughout the country.
The NC General Assembly’s Environmental Review Committee has authority over the state’s Division of Environmental Resources (DENR) and tremendous power over the future air, water, land and the health of living beings and ecosystems of our state. For example, the commission is currently considering abolishing the state’s Air Toxics Program which monitors facilities that produce toxic air pollution and evaluates the public health impact. (For a good overview, see a WRAL report from September 2011).
Members of this Environmental Review Committee who belong to ALEC include:
Senator David Rouzer, Co-Chair
Representative Ruth Samuelson, Co-Chair
Representative Chuck McGrady.
The ALEC-influenced S781 bill passed by the NC GOP legislature in 2011 gives the Environmental Review Committee increased powers over DENR and requires DENR to review all its rules, report those that exceed federal standards, and, in keeping with the dictums of ALEC, to repeal those that do.
The Air Toxics Program is said to be more stringent than Federal requirements, but in 2007, North Carolina was ranked 4th highest in the country for hazardous air pollutants. [Oy. No wonder I can’t breathe when I’m working in my garden during the summer!]