Today is the first day in a new campaign called “ALEC Mondays,” where each Monday we and many state and national groups will highlight a different one of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s efforts to push its corporate backers’ wishes in our state legislatures.
January 27th is focused on income inequality and wages, and countering ALEC’s efforts to stymie the push to increase the minimum wage, and protect our working families.
ALEC’s Agenda on Wages & Income Inequality
It is undeniable that the gap between the wealth of the richest few and America’s middle class has grown exponentially, but ALEC denies income inequality is a problem in the United States. ALEC’s corporate-funded agenda represents special interests of large corporations that target workers and lowers wages, such as the National Restaurant Association. Despite the need to increase the minimum wage — which most economists agree will reduce poverty and boost the economy — ALEC has longed resisted these common sense proposals that reward hard work. This is not surprising considering ALEC is funded by some of America’s wealthiest CEO families, like the Walton family of Wal-Mart, who gain from keeping the pay of workers as low as possible.
- Opposes raising the minimum wage, and instead supports its repeal altogether
- Opposes establishing living wage laws
- Wants to repeal prevailing wage laws
- Opposes mandating equal pay for men and women
- Supports eliminating anti-poverty programs and then require former beneficiaries to work jobs that pay below the minimum wage
In Nebraska, the state legislature is currently considering a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage, as well as bills aimed at creating a paid family leave policy, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for Nebraska’s low-income parents.
MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” had Nebraska State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist on last week to talk about his decision to leave ALEC after being a member for three years — back when almost every state senator in Nebraska was a member of the shady extreme-right-wing conservative group. Watch the clip below.
Groups Launch “Stand Up To ALEC” to Counter Corporate-Influenced Agenda
State groups join national efforts to expose ALEC influence on our state senators
Lincoln, NE — Bold Nebraska and partner groups on Monday announced the launch of a new weekly program called “Stand Up to ALEC”, a series of online and offline actions aimed at exposing the secretive and corporate-funded agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and their influence on our state senators.
“We demand accountability for ALEC and want to see a transparency bill for our state,” stated Gavin Geis, Nebraska Common Cause Director. “Citizens should know if a bill their state senator introduced was written by corporate or other special interests.”
Every Monday, state and national groups will post information on key issues ranging from income inequality, to energy, transparency and education. Additionally, the groups will ensure the public knows the true intent behind any bill authored by ALEC. Nebraska groups join other states and national organizations to share information on ALEC and encourage action.
“ALEC is a lobbyist and corporate-funded group that hands pre-packaged legislation to our state senators,” said Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director. “Sen. Jim Smith had to take a loyalty oath to put ALEC interests above all else. The group needs to come out of the shadows.”
Nationally, many corporate groups dropped ALEC after documents released by The Guardian and other advocacy efforts aimed at keeping ALEC accountable. In Nebraska, ALEC went from a couple dozen members to only five including Senators Jim Smith (state President), Tyson Larson, Mark Christensen, Tom Hansen and Beau McCoy.
Senator Nordquist went on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes” to discuss why he left ALEC: http://boldnebraska.org/alec-nordquist
An in-depth report on ALEC in Nebraska can be found here: http://boldnebraska.org/alecinnebraska
Additional information about ALEC in our state will be published throughout the current legislative session.
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