It’s unclear if the similarities were coordinated. Such legislative templates are a feature of the conservative corporate coalition known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which brings together corporate lobbyists and state lawmakers to draft, vote on, and circulate favorable legislation. That legislation infamously included the justifiable-homicide “Stand Your Ground” laws that drew national condemnation after the slaying of Black 17-year old Floridian Trayvon Martin.
But David Armiak, the research director of the left-leaning Center for Media and Democracy that aggressively tracks ALEC and its “bill milling,” said the 2017-era legislation didn’t match ALEC’s patterns. For one, ALEC hasn’t put together a so-called “model policy” on protests to shop to lawmakers, as it typically does with priority legislation. Only four of 18 sponsors of the 2017 legislative push are known to be tied to ALEC, and those lawmakers worked in only three of the seven states.
“Although ALEC shows a lot of love for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, we have seen nothing to suggest that this disturbing bill is based upon an ALEC model bill,” said Armiak. “However, given the strong ties between ALEC and Florida and other ALEC model bills attacking protest rights, it would not surprise me if some version of this bill appears at ALEC’s State and Nation Policy Summit in December.”