Notebook Entry: “NAIC model legislation”

NAIC model legislation — There was much consternation last year, locally and nationally, over the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) drafting “model legislation” that might be submitted in Rhode Island. Model legislation was heard at the statehouse this very week — but not from ALEC. Three bills heard on Tuesday by the House Corporations Committee (H5596, H5601, H5608) are officially described as model acts of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Two of the three bills are sponsored by Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy, who is a member and past president of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), another organization that takes credit for having written “model acts” that have been adopted in Rhode Island. Indeed, much of Rhode Island’s insurance law seems to get written outside of the confines of the Rhode Island General Assembly, by working committees of NAIC and NCOIL.
State legislators shouldn’t have to work in a vacuum and re-invent every word written into law from scratch. But if first drafts of laws written by NAIC and NCOIL aren’t a problem in this or previous sessions, then why was there an issue with ALEC last session?

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