Missouri gov. calls out ALEC politicians for copy-and-paste error

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recently vetoed legislation that contained an error that was copied and pasted from an American Legislative Exchange Council "model" bill.

Nixon, in vetoing SB 508, said ALEC members had "simply parroted … the ALEC model act without alteration," according to a report from the Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch.

Missouri Sen. Mike Parsons sponsored the measure that contained the same drafter's error as ALEC's model Navigator Background Check Act, a reference to Federal Public Law 92-554 instead of the correct federal law, which is Public Law 92-544.

ALEC — a group of politicians, corporations and other interests — drafts and circulates model legislation, much of it furthering conservative causes and protecting big business interests. The bulk of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations such as Exxon, foundations such as the right-wing Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, trade groups and membership dues.

The measure that Nixon vetoed, the Navigator Background Check Act, is posted on ALEC's website with a summary that reads: “This bill creates registration and reporting procedures for health care insurance navigators in {insert state}.”

The measure would have imposed additional restrictions — a federal criminal records check — on the state licensing of a health care "navigator" in the health exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Nixon, in his veto message, said he disapproved of the bill, which contains "a number of worthwhile provisions" but contained the significant drafting error.

Nixon wrote, "While some may believe that such an error is 'close enough' for a model act, it cannot be allowed to become the law of this State. Particularly in an area of the law that is the subject of ongoing litigation, a glaring defect such as this cannot simply be ignored. Accordingly, this measure does not receive my approval."

The federal law cited in the model legislation and the measure sent to the Democratic governor deals with alcohol abuse and prevention not federal criminal records.


0 1 Ron Rabatsky 2014-07-09 05:39
Just to complete the story, not only is SB508 partially copied-and-pasted from an ALEC model bill--sponsor Mike Parsons is an ALEC member!

Look also at the tax cut bill that Gov. Nixon vetoed only to be overridden by the General Assembly--based on the loser Kansas legislation prescribed by ALEC. Let's hope Missouri's credit rating doesn't tank like Kansas' did.

Governor Nixon deserves a lot of credit for standing up to these attacks on Missouri's people.
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