Monday, January 14, 2013

MN Legislation - To Out ALEC Bills and Freebies

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: January 14, 2013 - 2:29 PM

In a measure aimed at making the American Legislative Exchange Council reveal more, DFL senators on Monday proposed  expanding who is a lobbyist and what lobbyists need to disclose.

If the measure became law, anyone who promotes or distributes model legislation would be required to register as a lobbyist. Under the measure, lobbyists and lawmakers would have to disclose any scholarship funds they get to attend events or meetings.

"It is aimed at ALEC," said Minneapolis DFL Sen. Scott Dibble, the bill sponsor. "ALEC is a very strong influential entity."

The measure would also apply to other national groups that push model legislation, that is, bills that are proposed and written outside of Minnesota and then tailored to the state. Dibble said a coalition of lawmakers interested in environmental issues would also be forced to disclose more information in the bill became law.

Conservative and business-funded ALEC works with Republican lawmakers to craft measures for them to introduce in their states. For the last two years, when the GOP was in charge of the Legislature, Republicans introduced several measures that mimicked bills that ALEC had proposed.

Republicans have said there is nothing unusual or wrong about participating and gaining ideas from like-minded national groups but their proposals were based on what they believe is best for Minnesota.

Companion House bill has been introduced!!!
Model legislation lobbyist or principal requirements added, and principals and public official requirements added to scholarship funds.

    ; Isaacson
    ; Metsa
    ; Erickson, R.
    ; Dorholt
    ; Persell
    ; Simonson
    ; Sawatzky
    ; Ward, J.E.
    ; Anzelc
    ; Allen
    ; Moran

A bill for an act
relating to campaign finance; adding requirements to lobbyists or principals related to model legislation; adding requirements to principals and public officials
related to scholarship funds; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 10A.01, subdivisions 21, 33, by adding subdivisions; 10A.04, subdivision 6;10A.09, subdivision 5.

Subd. 21. Lobbyist. (a) "Lobbyist" means an individual:

(2) who spends more than $250, not including the individual's own traveling expenses and membership dues, in any year for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit, by communicating or urging others to communicate with public or local officials; or  (3) who attempts to influence legislative adoption of model legislation written or distributed by a principal.

Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:
Subd. 25a. Model legislation. "Model legislation" means legislation written or distributed by a principal to public officials of more than one state.

Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:
Subd. 35a. Scholarship funds. "Scholarship funds" means money or other financial support given by a principal to, or on behalf of, a public official to reimburse or pay for all or part of the costs of attending a conference, meeting, or event where model legislation will be presented, discussed, distributed, or made available.

4.4 (e) A principal that grants scholarship funds for a public official to attend a conference, meeting, or event must report:
 (1) the names of all public officials that received scholarship funds for attendance at the conference, meeting, or event; and
 (2) the names of any entity or individuals who contributed money towards scholarship funds; when possible, the report must identify the entities or individuals who contributed to each recipient's scholarship.

Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 10A.09, subdivision 5, is amended to read:
Subd. 5. Form. A statement of economic interest required by this section must be on a form prescribed by the board. The individual filing must provide the following information:

 (6) a listing of all scholarship funds received, or paid on the individual's behalf, the amount of each scholarship, the granting entity, and the conference, meeting, or event for which the scholarship funds were granted.

 (b) "Lobbyist" does not include:
 (1) a public official;
 (2) an employee of the state, including an employee of any of the public higher education systems;
 (3) an elected local official;

Complete bill text is located
If you live in Minnesota
- please call you legislators and tell them to support this bill.

If you live out of Minnesota
- send the bill to your legislator and 
     ask them to sponsor and introduce this bill.

Thank You!!!

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