EDIT: Thanks for all your questions! That’s all the time we’ve got today, but we’ll return to answer more over the next few days. For more, check out the whole story here: https://www.azcentral.com/in-depth/news/local/arizona-investigations/2019/04/04/abortion-gun-laws-stand-your-ground-model-bills-conservatives-liberal-corporate-influence-lobbyists/3361759002/
I’m Rob O’Dell, an investigative and data reporter with the Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network. I’m joined by Michael Squires, one of our investigative editors. Over the last two years, myself and a dozen USA TODAY Network reporters across the country found that special interest groups have written their own legislation and gotten it introduced in statehouses across the nation.
From “bathroom” bills to Stand Your Ground to school vouchers and limits on corporate liability, model legislation is a key conduit for outside influence on statehouses, and it’s largely happening without the public realizing it. Using computer programs to compare hundreds of thousands of bills, we’ve identified thousands that share similar language and wording.
We identified nearly 3,000 models and compared them to more than a million pieces of state legislation. We found more than 15,000 instances where lawmakers introduced a model bill. More than 2,000 of them passed.
Ask me anything about this investigation or my work in general.
- Here’s a link to the full investigation: You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.
- How we uncovered 10,000 times lawmakers introduced copycat model bills — and why it matters
- Stand your ground, right to work and bathroom bills: 5 model bills that spark controversy
- Used car dealers didn’t want to fix deadly defects, so they wrote a law to avoid it