I’m Rob O’Dell, and investigative and data reporter at The Arizona Republic. I am part of a team that spent the last two years investigating how special interest groups get their ideas on statehouses agendas across the country. I’m joined by my editor, Michael Squires. Ask us anything!

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.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/7arqf9zj9jq21.jpg

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