Arizona lawmakers introduced six bills this session seeking a U.S. constitutional amendment to impose new fiscal restraints on the federal government.
The bills mirror measures introduced in legislatures across the country and are nearly identical to model legislation written by the conservative, corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council.
The five Republican lawmakers who introduced the bills in Arizona all attended the group’s conferences over the past year.
Across the nation, state legislatures this year have been considering bills to expand education choices, restrict union influence and guarantee employees sick time off. In state after state, including Arizona, the wording of those bills is nearly identical. And it’s no coincidence.
Rather, it’s an orchestrated use of “model legislation” by national political organizations on both sides of the aisle that have discovered it’s easier to change national policy one state at a time than to get anything through Congress.
ALEC has been the most successful of these groups. Member lawmakers nationwide, including several in Arizona, introduce more than a hundred pieces of model legislation each year.