Particularly in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, which have traditionally upheld high labor standards, the election provided a critical opportunity for corporate lobbies to advance legislative goals that had long lingered on wish lists. The elections saw record levels of spending by business political action funds.
Bills to prohibit inflation adjustment of the minimum wage are not really about inflation, for instance; they are simply the step that ALEC-allied legislators believe they can accomplish in this given session toward the ultimate goal of eliminating the minimum wage altogether. The anti-union campaigns have been primarily funded by a coalition of traditional corporate lobbies such as the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, along with newer and more ideologically extreme organizations such as the Club for Growth and the Koch brothers—backed Americans for Prosperity. These data suggest that legislation was driven by a national agenda, and that the pattern of which laws were passed was based not on where they were economically necessary, but on where they were politically feasible.
Much of the most dramatic legislation since has been concentrated in these 11 states.