What I learned from the ALEC 2012 Spring Task Force Summit: My trip to the ALEC Conference in Charlotte, N.C., Part II

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—As a freshman attendant at the American Legislative Exchange Council Spring 2012 summit, I was assigned to the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, which aligns somewhat with my position on the N.H. House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. We considered model legislation bills on insurance, occupational licensing, food safety and labor, several of which could have a future in New Hampshire law. Fellow N.H. Rep. Gary Daniels, who is chairman of our N.H. House Labor Committee, served as chairman of the Commerce Committee in Charlotte.

Strangely, ALEC assigned health insurance legislation to a Health and Human Services Task Force, so I felt torn between the two meetings since the entire reason I joined the House Commerce Committee in New Hampshire was to address health insurance issues, particularly with Obamacare. The way things turned out, however, I was able to straddle both conferences and learn from both, and I have some interesting things to report from my experiences today.

Before I get started, for those who don’t know, ALEC is a national organization of elected state legislators and private sector lobbyists who meet to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty through a series of periodic summits where members of the public-private partnership work to develop policies and model legislation for advancing these principles. I paid for ALEC membership out of pocket at the cost of $50 a year.

It’s also important to note that my trip expenses to the ALEC Task Force Summit today was reimbursed by private donors, and not by taxpayers. Nevertheless, I minimized expenses for donors as mentioned in my previous post by flying down and back on the same day without a hotel night’s stay and by splitting my cab with Rep. Daniels on the way back to the airport. Besides Rep. Daniels and me, N.H. Reps. Jordan Ulery, Ken Weyler, Andy Renzullo and Kris Roberts were also in attendance.