One of the nation’s most important conservative organizations is coming to California this summer.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is an intellectual powerhouse for state legislators who share a common commitment to limited government, free markets, and federalism. Each year, ALEC holds a major annual meeting, drawing thousands of state legislators and private sector leaders together for four days of discussions on innovative reform ideas in areas ranging from taxes and property rights to telecommunications and energy policy.
Every legislator who supports these principles and wants to improve his or her effectiveness by networking with fellow conservative lawmakers and private sector leaders, picking up ideas and best practices, and shaping the national discussion really should join ALEC.
In July, ALEC is bringing its 2015 annual meeting to America’s Finest City: San Diego.
I’ve attended ALEC meetings for years, and every time I do I meet new and interesting leaders who share what they’re doing back in their states to put conservative ideas into action.
ALEC also serves as a powerful policy shop that helps conservative legislators focus on advancing their ideas instead of wasting time reinventing the wheel.
Their 2014 State Tax Cut Roundup documents the work done in 14 states to lower taxes. Even liberal states like New York, Rhode Island and Minnesota took steps to reduce the tax burden on their citizens.
As state and local governments in California struggle with unsustainable pension systems for government workers, ALEC has documented reform efforts in the states with their report, Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform.
How are states doing on improving education? California ranks 27th in ALEC’s Report Card on American Education: State Education Rankings, documenting state education performance and their reforms. It’s a powerful compendium of education reform ideas.
Every legislator, local government official and activist concerned with California’s sluggish economy needs to take a good look at ALEC’s annual Rich States, Poor States report, which ranks every state by its economic performance and outlook. ALEC doesn’t just rank the states, but provides insight as to why some states are generating more economic opportunities than others. It’s a must-read.
You can see more of ALEC’s first rate publications on current public policy issues here.
In December I spoke at ALEC’s annual States and Nation Policy Summit and had the opportunity to meet ALEC National Chairman Rep. Phil King of Texas. What a great champion of conservative ideas, from a state that has been putting many of those ideas on the books in recent years. ALEC’s CEO is Lisa Nelson, who previously served as Public Affairs Liaison for Speaker Newt Gingrich, as well as top spots at AOL Time Warner and Visa. Lisa’s staff of policy experts are among the best in the country, and provide incredible intellectual firepower to back up ALEC members working to advance free market reforms in the states.
ALEC’s agenda is shaped by the wide array of conservative state legislators who’ve chosen to be a part of this outstanding organization. To get California on track, our state needs a healthy dose of these ideas: lower taxes, a smaller government footprint, a more competitive economy, education reform to help kids succeed, and more. The timing for ALEC coming to our state in July couldn’t be better.