Analyst: Transparency, not source, of Pa. legal language paramount

    A liberal group has identified state laws in Pennsylvania that were based on models proposed by a conservative legislative conference at its annual meeting.

    But one analyst says using model legislation is commonplace.

    A report released by the progressive advocacy group Keystone Progress points to bills modeled on legislation drafted by ALEC–the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is made up of legislators and members of the private sector.

    Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College, says there’s nothing sour about a lawmaker standing behind legislation based on language put forth by someone else.

    He says it matters little who that someone is–except for “one big caveat.”

    “And the caveat is there ought to be some transparency about it,” Madonna said. “So if a think tank or a lobbying firm writes a piece of legislation and is supporting it, I think it ought to be known that that is in effect what has occurred.”

    ALEC advocates limited government and free markets and is professedly nonpartisan.

    All but one of the Pennsylvania lawmakers who have been identified as ALEC members are Republican.

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