Conservative conference draws lawmakers, picketers

August 8, 2013

The Associated Press

AP/File
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky.

CHICAGO —More than a thousand conservative lawmakers and business executives from across the nation are gathering in Chicago to craft policy proposals that could be pushed in state capitols next year.

Attendees at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council were countered Thursday by a roughly equal number of protesters upset by the close ties between big businesses and lawmakers.

The council has backed model legislation passed in Republican-led states that has sought to invalidate key portions of the federal health care law, reduce union powers and cut taxes. Participants discussed ways Thursday of injecting more private-sector involvement in state Medicaid programs and pushing laws that bar union membership from being a requirement for employment.

Protesters outside the meeting accused the organization of corporate greed and union busting.