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ALEC targeting public pensions

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has found another way to stick it to workers: by advocating policies that would change public pensions.

The St. Louis Beacon reports that changes to state pensions is high on ALEC’s list for 2014 with the group encouraging more states to consider shifting to defined contribution plans such as 401Ks, and away from traditional “defined benefit plans.” 

Missouri and Illinois could be states that ALEC tries to influence in the pension debate next year.

This isn’t new territory for ALEC, which helped to influence Florida’s pension debate earlier this year.

The National Public Pension Coalition released a statement saying proposals like ALEC’s have serious consequences for retirees and taxpayers.

National Public Pension Coalition says that defined contribution plans have helped to create more pension debt for states like Alaska and Michigan.

ALEC has faced the glare of the spotlight, especially in the aftermath of the controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws, causing major corporations to flee from intense public scrutiny.
ALEC, a Washington, DC-based politically ultra-conservative non-profit, thrives on operating in the shadows of American government to push anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country.

ALEC sponsors private meetings allowing state lawmakers and corporate executives to frame legislation that is later introduced in state legislatures. The laws tilt in the favor of big business. ALEC has pushed legislation that has been harmful to fire fighters’ right to collectively bargain and has also proposed other anti-union policies.

ALEC’s success has been its ability to operate in secret and to gain access to legislators while providing an anonymous cover for its corporate sponsors to press their agenda. The organization continues to remain a threat because it pushes model legislation in all 50 states.

Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the billionaire Koch Brothers.

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