Sen. Nancy Barto has been named a recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “Legislator of the Year” award. Sen. Barto was presented the award at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans. The “Legislator of the Year” Award is given to state legislators who are ALEC members in good standing and have distinguished themselves by taking a leadership role in advancing, introducing and/or enacting policies based on the fundamental Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty. “It is such an honor to receive this award from ALEC. It’s good to know the hard work we’re doing here in Arizona fighting for everyone’s health care rights is being recognized by such a respected national organization,” says Sen. Barto, a Republican from Phoenix. Sen. Barto serves on the Executive Committee for the Health & Human Services Task Force. She has been a key force behind Health Care Freedom, protecting citizens’ fundamental health care rights. Efforts that began in Arizona have now led to 12 states passing Health Care Freedom laws and another four states will have it on the 2012 ballot. “Now Arizona’s state constitution prevents citizens from being forced to purchase health insurance and guarantees their right to purchase health care privately – two rights that are threatened by Congress’ unconstitutional health care takeover in 2009,” says Sen. Barto. Barto also sponsored the Health Care Sharing Ministries bill, which was signed into law this year – another example of ALEC model legislation that expands patients’ rights to affordable health care. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.