In a measure aimed at making the American Legislative Exchange Council reveal more, DFL senators on Monday proposed expanding who is a lobbyist and what lobbyists need to disclose.
If the measure became law, anyone who promotes or distributes model legislation would be required to register as a lobbyist. Under the measure, lobbyists and lawmakers would have to disclose any scholarship funds they get to attend events or meetings.
"It is aimed at ALEC," said Minneapolis DFL Sen. Scott Dibble, the bill sponsor. "ALEC is a very strong influential entity."
The measure would also apply to other national groups that push model legislation, that is, bills that are proposed and written outside of Minnesota and then tailored to the state. Dibble said a coalition of lawmakers interested in environmental issues would also be forced to disclose more information in the bill became law.
Conservative and business-funded ALEC works with Republican lawmakers to craft measures for them to introduce in their states. For the last two years, when the GOP was in charge of the Legislature, Republicans introduced several measures that mimicked bills that ALEC had proposed.
Republicans have said there is nothing unusual or wrong about participating and gaining ideas from like-minded national groups but their proposals were based on what they believe is best for Minnesota.