Rep. Taylor’s statement on ALEC Mesothelioma bill
Today, the Republican controlled Assembly passed Assembly Bill 19, a bill to limit Mesothelioma victims’ access to courts after extensive exposure to asbestos.
MADISON – Today, the Republican controlled Assembly passed Assembly Bill 19, a bill to limit Mesothelioma victims’ access to courts after extensive exposure to asbestos. An American Legislative Exchange Council handbook entitled “Lawsuit Reform for Competitive State Economies” contains a chapter on passing bills such as AB-19, including talking points and a reference to ALEC’s model bill entitled the “Asbestos Claims Transparency Act.”
According to the Legislative Reference Bureau’s drafting file, the bill is based on a 2012 Ohio bill, the first in the nation to pass this law. Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison), who earlier this session attended an ALEC convention, issued the following statement:
“Once again, we see major policies being advanced in the Assembly that are derived not from the people of this state or from their interests, but from ALEC. Though both of the authors of the bill denied that ALEC had anything to do with the bill, they admit that it is based on an 2012 Ohio bill, which was the first state in the nation to pass the ALEC model bill ‘Asbestos Claims Transparency Act.’
“This bill sacrifices the interests of sick patients to ALEC’s big corporate agenda. Particularly sickening is the impact this bill will have on veterans, who make up 8 percent of the population but 30 percent of mesothelioma cases. Once again, my Republican colleagues are siding with out-of-state corporations and ALEC, rather than terminally ill Wisconsinites who deserve these legal protections.”