NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A report by a coalition of liberal advocacy groups has raised questions about the influence a conservative bill-writing group has on lawmakers in New Jersey.
The report, to be released Monday, found 22 bills filed in the New Jersey Legislature since 2010 were based on model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported.
Seven of the bills were either matches for the ALEC proposals or have lifted passages from them. None of the bills has passed.
The report was produced by Common Cause, People for the American Way Foundation, Progress Now and the Center for Media and Democracy.
ALEC is a non-profit group concerned with cutting business regulations and government spending.
Common Cause contended ALEC is a lobbying group and therefore should lose its non-profit status.
Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, termed the influence of ALEC "disturbing" and "unparalleled." He said ALEC "has managed to amass this power and influence at taxpayers' expense by masquerading as a tax-exempt charity."
Adam Bauer, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, denied ALEC had any influence on legislation and downplayed the significance of the report.
"For anything in the Legislature to be enacted, it's got to have a public vetting," he said. "It has to go through committee hearings and has to go through a Democratic-controlled Legislature. Who cares what the similarities are?"