Gazette-Mail editorial: How much 'model legislation' is out there?

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How much of a bill do lawmakers actually write?

According to an article published earlier this year jointly by USA Today, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity, there were nearly 10,000 bills introduced in all 50 state legislatures from 2010 through 2018 that were almost identically copied from “model legislation.” And those were just the ones they were able to track.

Model legislation can mean a couple of different things, but mainly refers to potential laws drawn up by industry lobbyists or advocacy groups that seek to replicate similar laws across the United States. Of those 10,000, more than 2,000 were passed and became law.


One good example of such a practice in West Virginia from this year is the education omnibus bill that failed to pass during the regular session but did pass during a special session.