State Policy Network
Week in Review: April 12, 2024


Beacon Center of Tennessee released its fourth quarterly Beacon Poll, a statewide survey of 1,197 registered Tennessee voters comprised of questions about political races, policy issues, and more.

Cascade Policy Center penned letters to the Department of State Lands (DSL) and the Portland Public School Board (PPSB) with recommendations on the DSL’s Asset Management Plan and the PPSB’s plans for modernizing Jefferson High School.

Frontier Institute announced its first Education Freedom Workshop in Billings on the evening of May 9th. The event will comprise of informative sessions about the new education freedom laws that have recently been passed and the opportunity to create greater freedom in the years to come. Frontier also issued public comments against the implementation of a carbon tax on Montana utility customers through ratemaking, urging administrators to propose future legislation instead inventing a “back door” method.

Liberty Justice Center welcomed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement that it will halt enforcement of its highly contested climate “disclosure rule” until a federal court decides whether the rule is lawful. The Liberty Justice Center and Pelican Institute are jointly suing the SEC to challenge the rule. “The SEC’s decision to stay the rule is welcome news,” said Jacob Huebert, President of the Liberty Justice Center. “It means that the rule won’t take effect while our case is before the court—and we intend to see that it never takes effect.” In addition, the Center welcomed celebrated legal scholar Richard A. Epstein who joined the Center’s board of directors.

Mountain States Policy Center’s Jason Mercier joined the Idaho Reports podcast to discuss needed legislative transparency reform in the state and how Idaho’s legislative budget process could become a model for other states.

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty responded forcefully to the Wisconsin State Bar’s latest media and public relations efforts which insist that their racially discriminatory policies will continue in contradiction of the law and attempt to intimidate a member of the media for reporting on the Institute’s perspective – a move which raises serious First Amendment questions.

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Freedom through the Courts: The Latest Litigation Efforts across the Network

Liberty Justice Center sued the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys for forcing Jewish public defenders to pay dues to a union which holds positions that they consider antisemitic—in violation of their First Amendment rights. The Center also filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Norris v. Stanley, a case on the constitutionality of vaccine mandates. LJC filed the brief on behalf of three medical professionals who were plaintiffs in the recent cases McDonald v. Lawson and Høeg v. Newsom, which successfully challenged AB 2098, a California law that violated physicians’ First Amendment rights until its repeal in January.

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a Petition for Judicial Review in Burnett County Circuit Court to appeal the decision of the Law Enforcement Standards Board that has denied the Institute’s client, Noah Gausman, the ability to continue serving as a law enforcement officer.

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Success Stories

Arizona: Arizonans can more easily work in the field of their choice thanks to the Workforce Expansion Act, a recently passed law that reins in unelected bureaucrats’ power to enact burdensome restrictions on the Right to Earn a Living (Goldwater Institute).

Texas: Two school administrators have been indicted for engaging in illegal election interference. The Liberty Justice Center sent a letter on behalf of the county’s voters in March, demanding the District Attorney investigate the politically motivated scheme—which specifically targeted candidates who support the expansion of school choice in Texas as “unfriendly” candidates.

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

California Policy Center released a brief which unpacks the reasons for the state’s housing affordability crisis and how it can be fixed.

Empire Center published a set of briefs which reveal how New York state politicians cited an inaccurate statistic sourced from a public employee union lobbyist to support the idea of strengthening public employee pensions and discuss the policy implications of one of New York’s biggest Medicaid contractors acquiring one of its competitors.

John Locke Foundation released a brief which examines a model bill, “The Only Pay for What You Get Act” proposed by the Center of the American Experiment that aligns power company incentives with customers’ needs, and the benefits that such legislation would bring to North Carolinians.

Mountain States Policy Center released a set of briefs which present five steps to determine how artificial intelligence (AI) could improve government efficiency and save taxpayer money and compare taxes in the Western states.

Pacific Research Institute released a brief which breaks down the cost increase for a hamburger due to Los Angeles’ recent minimum wage hike.

Washington Policy Center issued a set of briefs which review new data confirming findings on honeybee populations recovering in the state and compare the effects of California’s minimum wage increase on fast food workers to proposed changes in Bellingham, Washington, showing the harms impacting families and workers alike.

Wyoming Liberty Group published a brief which examines the effects of civil forfeiture in the state and calls for reform to the unjust practice.

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Tracking Positive Reforms: Updates from Network Affiliates  

Delaware: A bill which requires the governor to consult with the General Assembly within 180 days after starting a State of Emergency before such an order can be extended is before the State Legislature – an important reform that would protect against executive overreach (Caesar Rodney Institute).

Ohio: In the annual State of the State address, Ohio’s governor urged support for several policies championed by The Buckeye Institute, including an emphasis on career tech, improvements to the Ohio College Opportunity Grants program, and providing parents and students with data on graduation-to-employment rates from Ohio’s public universities to ensure students are graduating college with the skills employers need.

Oklahoma: Citing concerns that virtual school days are being abused and are contributing to student learning loss, members of the House Common Education Committee have advanced legislation restricting the number of virtual days allowed. The bill now proceeds to the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. In addition, a bill which would create more transparency in the judicial nomination process in the state cleared committee and also proceeds to the House floor (Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs).

Virginia: Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) offered a compromise on the disputed state budget that gives Virginia’s Democratic legislators most of the spending they were initially demanding, especially for local schools and early childhood education, without added taxes (Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy).

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Policy News from the States


K-12 Education

An Unbundled Education Revolution in West Virginia
Cardinal Institute

Capitol Watch: Senate DFL Removes School Comparisons, Delays Test Score Release
Center of the American Experiment

MN Principal Growth Ticks Up Despite Declining Student Enrollment
Center of the American Experiment

Cutting Cyber Funding Hurts Pennsylvania Students
Commonwealth Foundation

Micro Schools Would Have Helped Me as a Kid in Peru. Now They Can Help Utahns
Libertas Institute

It’s Time for Michigan to Demand Educational Opportunity
Mackinac Center

Don’t Separate Teacher Effectiveness from Student Achievement
Mackinac Center

Conservatives Should Act on School Choice
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Bible Class ‘Released Time’ a Good Idea for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Trust The Science (of Reading)
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

39th U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky for National Poetry Month
Pioneer Institute

Do Private Schools “Choose” Their Students?
Show-Me Institute

What Would a Parent-Teacher ‘Handshake’ Look Like in Utah?
Sutherland Institute

SAISD is to Blame for Its Budget Mess
Texas Public Policy Foundation

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Energy and Environment

Unraveling Deception: Delaware’s ‘Energy Solutions’ Act
Caesar Rodney Institute

Xcel’s ‘Time of Use’ Rates Are Meant to Punish You for Using Electricity When It’s Actually Convenient for You
Center of the American Experiment

150,000 Xcel Energy Customers Lose Power in Colorado, Costing Small Businesses Tens of Thousands of Dollars
Center of the American Experiment

Thousands of Canadians Go Without Power During Alberta’s “Brownout” as Wind Fails to Show Up
Center of the American Experiment

“Don’t Make Consumers in Another State Pay for” Climate Policies of Neighboring States: FERC Commissioner
Center of the American Experiment

Wind Drought Blackout: Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?
Center of the American Experiment

Uproar Over Texas Divesting from BlackRock Shows ESG Activists’ Disdain for the Rule of Law
Texas Public Policy Foundation

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How to Nurse Hawaii Back to Good Health
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Posting Patient Prices: Transparency Cure for Hospital Blank Checks
Pioneer Institute

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Housing Affordability

Universal Housing Affordability
California Policy Center

Illinois Cities Could Significantly Speed Up New Home, Business Construction
Illinois Policy

State Grant Requires Taxpayers to Subsidize $236,000 per Housing Unit
Mackinac Center

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Jobs and State Economies

Does Minnesota Need a Basic Income Program?
Center of the American Experiment

The ‘Universal Basic Income’ Scam
Center of the American Experiment

Georgia’s Craft Brewers and Customers Thirst for Less Restrictive Laws
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

The Policy Shop: Solving Poverty (the Right Way)
Illinois Policy

U.S. House Should Give Americans a Win by Passing One-Door
James Madison Institute

The Difficult Conundrum of the Central Planners
John Locke Foundation

Oklahoma Drawing Millennials, Data Show
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Creating ‘Free Cities’ as Plan B for Global Societies
Pacific Research Institute

‘Right To Ignore Your Boss’ Bill Could Make Work-Life Balance Worse for Employees
Pacific Research Institute

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State Budgets

Tax Day Alert: DEI Schemes Diverting Millions of Hard-Earned Dollars
Goldwater Institute

Why You Can Ignore the Left’s Fearmongering About Future NC Budget Deficits
John Locke Foundation

NCInnovation: So NOW They Run a Pilot Program
John Locke Foundation

As Manchester Bus Ridership Collapsed in the Last Decade, City Spending on Bus Service Soared
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

Appropriations Committee Democrats Break Promises During Late-Night Spending Spree
Maine Policy Institute

Tear Down Budget Silos, Don’t Add More
Pelican Institute

Governor Newsom’s Budget Crisis Is Déjà vu All Over Again
Pacific Research Institute

Unstable Revenue Sources Make Unsustainable Tax Reform
Platte Institute

A Practically 100% Guaranteed Free Ride
Pioneer Institute

Nebraska’s Competitive Sales Tax and Historic 2023 Income Tax Reform Must Be Protected
Platte Institute

Which Local Governments Want to Borrow Big this May?
Texas Public Policy Foundation

The Thomas Jefferson Institute Applauds Governor Youngkin’s Actions on Its Veto Recommendations
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Wisconsin’s Referendum Process Results in Misleading Tax Increases, Leaves Voters in the Dark
Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Insights from the Cowboy Family Report with Ashley Harpstreith
Wyoming Liberty Group

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Workplace Freedom

Baby Bumps and Teacher Benefits: Dispelling CTA Myths about Maternity Leave
California Policy Center

Gov. Shapiro’s Labor Agreements Will Harm Workers and Taxpayers
Commonwealth Foundation

OEA Opens Its Offices to Socialist Group
Freedom Foundation

Minneapolis Teachers Union Wants Two Seats at Negotiating Table
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Chicago Teachers Union Contract Demands About Politics, Bosses’ Power
Illinois Policy

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Governing by Hope Instead of Fear
California Policy Center

Alexander Hamilton, Richard Hooker, and the Necessary and Proper Clause
Independence Institute

Appeals to the “Common Good” Often Disguise Threats to Freedom
John Locke Foundation

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The Network in the News

In The OC Register, the California Policy Center‘s Will Swaim highlights how the federal government is planning to pay off California’s loss of some $30 billion in federal COVID-relief funds.

In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Commonwealth Foundation‘s Nathan Benefield notes the Pennsylvania Governor’s campaign slogans won’t fix the state. 

In the Bucks County Courier Times, the Commonwealth Foundation‘s Rachel Langan points out cutting cyber charter funding hurts Pennsylvania students.

In the New York Post, the Foundation for Government Accountability‘s Paige Terryberry criticizes a new free-for-all school-lunch program that includes six- and seven-figure income earners.

At RealClearMarkets, the Garden State Initiative‘s Danielle Zanzalari notes the SEC’s climate disclosure rule will brutally raise the cost of doing business.

At National Review, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation‘s Kyle Wingfield encourages Georgia policymakers to seize the opportunity for deeper tax cuts. 

In the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Policy Institute‘s Paul Vallas points out Illinois is at the bottom for equity and at the top for high taxes.

In his recent column, the Independence Institute‘s Jon Caldara highlights a new bill in Colorado that taxes alcohol to pay for rehab for drug addicts.

In the Des Moines RegisterIowans for Tax Relief Foundation‘s John Hendrickson argues Iowa taxpayers deserve constitutional protection from increases and varied rates.

In The Iowa Torch, Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation‘s John Hendrickson notes that state spending will determine future tax relief.

In his recent column, the John Locke Foundation‘s John Hood considers policies that will make homes more affordable in North Carolina. 

In The Salt Lake TribuneLibertas Institute‘s Bruno Rodriguez Puccinelli highlights the benefits of microschools. 

In The Detroit News, the Mackinac Center‘s Mike Reitz encourages the Supreme Court to take up a Michigan school choice case. 

In the Washington Examiner, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Sally Pipes notes Obamacare is the real ‘junk’ insurance.

In Yellowhammer NewsPeople United for Privacy Foundation’s Heather Lauer calls on Alabama lawmakers to pass new legislation in defense of personal privacy and free speech. 

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty‘s Miranda Spindt describes one Wisconsin county’s innovative approach to solving the home ownership crisis. 

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Categories: News