National legislative group to meet in city

The American Legislative Exchange Council holds its spring task force summit next week at the Cox Convention Center.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 27, 2013
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About 500 people, mostly lawmakers from across the country, are expected to converge next week in Oklahoma City for the spring meeting of an organization that promotes free-market and conservative ideas.

The American Legislative Exchange Council will hold its spring task force summit Thursday and Friday at the Cox Convention Center.

More than 2,000 legislators, or about one-third of all sitting lawmakers in the country, belong to the group. The vast majority are Republican.

It's the first time for a national meeting in Oklahoma, said Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, elected in December to serve on the board of directors.

The group, called ALEC, is a private, nonprofit organization made up of lawmakers, businesses and foundations. They produce model legislation for state legislatures.

Group advised Fallin

ALEC was among several groups that advised Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 to resist development of a state health insurance exchange, a primary component of the Affordable Care Act.

Model legislation includes proposals to reduce personal income taxes.

Its legislative priorities for 2013 include limiting taxes and government growth, improving education and preventing lawsuit abuse.

Oklahoma lawmakers pay their own fees to the group, Banz said.

About 70 of Oklahoma's 149 legislators are members.