ALEC Is Close to Passing Model Bill That Would Protect Companies From Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits - 2020-07-21
The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative Koch-backed group that is holding its 47th annual meeting this week, is working to develop a model bill for state legislatures to create corporate liability protections related to the coronavirus. Finding a way to protect corporations from lawsuits by employees who are required to work during the coronavirus pandemic at the state and federal levels has been a priority for both ALEC and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in recent months.
In May, the ALEC Criminal and Civil Justice Task Force, which models policy "to protect the legal system from frivolous litigation that threatens its reliability," debated corporate liability on a conference call with members. Later that month, the task force unanimously passed a model policy on the issue, according to an email obtained by The Intercept. "If it is approved by the ALEC Board of Directors," the email states, "it will become ALEC model policy."
ALEC Director of Public Affairs Dan Reynolds confirmed that ALEC is considering a policy on liability protection that hasn't yet been approved, but did not respond to questions about when the board will take it up for consideration. ALEC's annual meeting, originally set to take place in Orlando, Florida, began on July 15 and will run through July 23. At last year's annual conference, 1,413 people were listed as attending, including a large number of state legislators, members of the Koch network, and the Trump campaign, Documented reported. Reynolds did not respond to questions on how many people would attend this year or why ALEC had shifted its conference online to protect members amid the pandemic while arguing that companies should get additional protections should they choose to do the opposite.