September 12, 2012
Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and Its Members Promote Privatization of Government Services and Assets
For years, corporations have joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for the opportunity to develop legislation that diverts public dollars into their corporate coffers. A new report by In the Public Interest, “Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and Its Members Promote Privatization of Government Services and Assets,” exposes ALEC’s extensive privatization agenda. The report details how private prison corporations, online education companies, health care corporations, and major industry players pay large membership fees to ALEC in exchange for valuable and unfettered access to state legislators. Corporations are able to work with ALEC lawmakers to craft bills that allow private control of public functions, and guarantee a steady stream of tax dollars to enhance profits.
Corporate and legislative ALEC members work together to jointly develop pro-privatization model bills, and then legislators introduce and push these bills in their state legislatures. These bills make it easier to create virtual public schools, encourage states to privatize vital health programs that help vulnerable populations, force state governments to sell public prisons to prison corporations, and help other industries take control of public assets and services.
In 2011 and 2012, ALEC model bills that sought to privatize core public functions were introduced in states across the country, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. Many ALEC bills fail their first time, but examples of success expose their real goal: enhancing corporate pocketbooks with lucrative government contracts.
It’s evident that corporations use ALEC and its vast network of state lawmakers to push for privatization. By increasing the number of government functions that are contracted out, these corporations can grow their profits with taxpayer dollars. And the effects of this ALEC-sponsored legislation are clear – we stand to lose control over public services and assets and, ultimately, we risk a weakened democracy.
The new study underlines how corporations use ALEC to promote private interests and goals that trump the public interest. For a complete list of ALEC model legislation, please visit www.ALECexposed.org. To download a copy of In The Public Interest’s report, “Profiting from Public Dollars,” and learn more about ALEC’s privatization agenda in the past and what we can expect to see in upcoming legislative sessions, click here.
Follow us on Twitter!
Please share these links: Subscribe to this bulletin!
and View past issues.
From the In The Public Interest Team
If someone sent this newsletter to you, please click here to subscribe. Please add InthePublicInterest.org to your list of safe senders.
If you don't want to receive this newsletter, please don't block us. Click here to unsubscribe.