State Policy Network
Week in Review: April 26, 2024


Commonwealth Foundation sponsored a town hall on cyber charter schools, recommending that Pastor Josh Robertson, the senior pastor at a local Harrisburg church, serve as a panelist to defend the educational freedom side and airing an ad to advocate for cyber charter schools during the event.

Kansas Policy Institute released its A-F Grading for Kansas Schools based on the 2023 state assessment results and announced that Dr. Vance Ginn joined the Institute as a Senior Fellow for economic and regulatory analysis.

Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation released a summary of some of the key policy victories as the state’s legislative session comes to a close.

John Locke Foundation released an interview with farmer Mike Jones about the challenges he faces in the agriculture industry as a part of Locke’s campaign that takes a close look at North Carolina’s food systems and the heroic farmers who keep Americans fed. Locke’s Carolina Journal reporter, Brianna Kramer, spoke about a Journal story that “broke the internet” last week regarding a Davidson County high school student’s unjust suspension.

Mountain States Policy Center released a summary of the legislative trends in the mountain states of Idaho, Washington and Wyoming. The Center also announced updates in its launch of a new children’s book series that teaches about free markets.

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty warned the American Bar Association over its race-based Judicial Clerkship Program and Internship Opportunity Program in a letter pointing out that these programs violate multiple federal, state, and local civil rights laws, and harm innumerable students around the country – legal action may follow.

Back to Top

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

Liberty Justice Center released a statement on the next steps in California v. Chino Valley Unified School District following AG Bonta’s announcement that he plans to pursue a permanent injunction against a policy that no longer exists.

Washington Policy Center jointly filed an amicus brief in Gonzales v. Inslee to support private property rights against the eviction moratorium put in place during the Covid lockdowns.

Back to Top

Success Stories

Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, legislation that will create the first education savings account program in the state of Georgia – a significant milestone in educational reform for the state of Georgia (Georgia Center for Opportunity and Georgia Public Policy Foundation).

Iowa: The legislature continued the tax cut momentum by passing the fourth round of income tax reforms in recent years. This new legislation will push Iowa’s personal income tax down to a single, flat rate of 3.8 percent in 2025, delivering more than $1 billion of tax relief over the next six years (Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation).

Massachusetts: A State Superior Court ruled that a state law allowing municipalities (or private actors to whom municipalities sell the right to foreclose) to foreclose on homes due to property tax debt without having to pay the homeowner the difference between the taxes owed and the value of the home is unconstitutional – a decision that brings the state into compliance with a 2023 SCOTUS ruling (Pioneer Institute).

Mississippi: Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law which enacts Right to Try for Individualized Treatments in the state, extending the Right to Try to cutting-edge, highly specialized treatments that are tailor-made for each individual (Goldwater Institute).

Back to Top

Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

American Consumer Institute issued a brief supporting U.S. Representative Barr’s resolution that shields consumers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s overreach.

Empire Center published briefs that criticize New York state’s FY25 budget process, citing missed deadlines and rushed voting, and uncover how Albany’s new health insurance tax lacks specifics on who pays how much – something that could lead to higher premiums and long-term fiscal issues.

John Locke Foundation’s Brian Balfour wrote a brief examining the budget proposal recently released by the North Carolina Governor, giving a closer look at what the “spend big, tax big” governor has put on his wish list. Locke’s Kaitlyn Shepherd also took a look at how the state’s public education system lags behind when it comes to choice when it comes to inter and intra-district enrollment.

Kansas Policy Institute published a brief with research refuting the governor’s rationale for threatening to veto tax relief legislation.

Mackinac Center released a brief critiquing bills which would resurrect Michigan’s film incentive program, showing how these efforts look to repeat the failures of the state’s previous film production incentive, which lost 89 cents for every dollar spent.

Mountain States Policy Center released a set of briefs which present a snapshot of the Mountain State’s energy portfolio and policies, analyze the Federal Communication Commission’s renewed push to bring back net neutrality, and look at SCOTUS’ seeming split over city homeless regulations.

Opportunity Arkansas issued a brief which reveals a seemingly innocuous ballot amendment as an attempt to destroy education freedom in the state – this brief marks the start of a multi-faceted campaign to expose what is at stake with these “sneak attacks”.

South Carolina Policy Council released a new policy report which offers practical recommendations to make South Carolina’s budget process more transparent and open for citizens. 

Washington Policy Center issued briefs that analyze the effects of rent control and the bills in Washington that would have effectively enacted that policy and highlight all the ways trendy, government-run environmental policies fail and how individuals can do and are doing better.

Back to Top

Tracking Positive Reforms: Updates from Network Affiliates  

Alabama: As auto manufacturers are relocating to the south due to favorable tax and labor environments, unions are working hard to unionize through pressure campaigns where they bypass a secret ballot election, but the Network is stepping up to maintain workplace freedom – Alabama becoming the latest example. Lawmakers passed a bill that will require manufacturers that receive state subsidies to guarantee employees a secret ballot unionization election. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for signing (Alabama Policy Institute and Mackinac Center).

Connecticut: The state Appropriations Committee scaled back the 21-section climate change omnibus bill — dubbed the “Green Monster” — to just nine sections essentially deleting anything that had a fiscal impact on the state, though there is a chance that attempts to reinsert these concerning components at a later point (Yankee Institute).

Iowa: As the 2024 legislative session drew to a close, the legislature advanced two important constitutional amendments that would serve as taxpayer protections. The first would require a two-thirds majority vote of the legislature to increase income taxes and the second would prohibit the establishment of a progressive tax system, meaning that a single-flat tax rate would be protected. The legislature will need to pass both proposed resolutions again during the next legislative session in order for them to appear on the ballot. Iowans would then have the opportunity to decide whether or not these taxpayer protections should be added to the Constitution (Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation).

Michigan: Legislators in the House proposed bills to limit the state’s programs that subsidize select businesses, showing that lawmakers are expressing skepticism about the state’s efforts to spur growth by handing out big checks to big companies – a welcome sign (Mackinac Center).

South Carolina: The Senate made a proposal to double the size of this year’s planned personal income tax cut. The House also proposed to return a recently discovered $1.8 billion to the taxpayers (South Carolina Policy Council).

Back to Top

Policy News from the States


K-12 Education

Alabama Legislature May Ease Religious Exemption for School Vaccines
Alabama Policy Institute

New Study Finds Private Schooling Boosts Civic Outcomes
Center of the American Experiment

Schools Cut Pandemic Positions as COVID Funding Finally Dries Up
Center of the American Experiment

What is the Georgia Promise Scholarship?
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Explain It to Me: MPS Charter Attack on the Run!
Institute for Reforming Government

Department of Education is Leaving Students and Innovators in Regulatory Limbo
James Madison Institute

Utah’s New Microschool Law Model for Other States
Libertas Institute

Why Public Education is so Controversial
MacIver Institute

State Takes Aim at Charter Schools
Mackinac Center

Lawmakers Object to Aiding Homeless and Special-Needs Children
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Missouri Sparks a Brighter Future for Students, Parents, and Teachers
Show-Me Institute

Who Were Texas’ Highest Paid Superintendents in 2023-24?
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Back to Topics

Energy and Environment

Tapping Water Markets in Florida
James Madison Institute

Earth Day Means Sandboxing
Libertas Institute

Environmental Groups’ Meritless Lawsuit Seeks to Force Adoption of Unpopular EV Mandates
Maine Policy Institute

Let’s Jump on the Nuclear Energy Bandwagon
Show-Me Institute

The Potential of Nuclear Energy
Texas Public Policy Foundation

How Net Zero Policies Impact Farmers & Families
Wyoming Liberty Group

Back to Topics


Albany’s New Health Insurance Tax Comes with Few Limits
Empire Center

Let’s End Embarrassing Tax on Medical Services
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Thirteen Years of Obamacare: Projections vs Reality
James Madison Institute

Study Finds Obstacles to Search for Opioid Substitute
Pioneer Institute

Transparency Stalled
Show-Me Institute

While Nursing Homes Struggle to Meet Need, New Biden Rules Make Things Even Harder
Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Back to Topics

Housing Affordability

The Affordable Housing Scam
Cascade Policy Institute

The Latest Plan to Exacerbate California’s Housing Crisis
Independent Institute

Median Home Price Hitting $500k Signals Urgent Need for Land-Use Reform
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

Cities Can and Should Streamline Housing Approvals
Pacific Research Institute

Rent Control Is Dead, Long Live Rent Control
Washington Policy Center

Back to Topics

Jobs and State Economies

Five Surprising Facts About Wisconsin Economy: Experiencing Benefits of Free Market Reforms
Badger Institute

Government is Twisted—An Excerpt from “Modern Davids”
Beacon Center of Tennessee

Research Shows DFL Bill to Hike Youth Minimum Wage Will Reduce Youth Employment
Center of the American Experiment

Cut Scores to Ensure 95% Pass Rate Proposed for Paraprofessionals Seeking Credential
Center of the American Experiment

Moving Transmission Lines a New ‘Obstacle’ to $3 Billion Blue Line
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

How the Courts Made the Homeless Crisis Worse
Goldwater Institute

State Keeps Piling on Rules That Increase Hawaii’s Cost of Living
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Don’t Force Drivers to Buy AM Radios
James Madison Institute

Why Doesn’t Michigan Measure Up?
Mackinac Center

County Commission Moves Will Hamstring Vendors
Nevada Policy

Subsidizing Strikes the California Legislature’s Latest Anti-Growth Proposal
Pacific Research Institute

Expanding Unemployment Insurance Benefits – All Pain for No Gain
Pacific Research Institute

Outmigration and the Labor Force
Pioneer Institute

Annual Massachusetts Outmigration Hits 39,000, Up 1,100% Over The Last Decade: BU Study
Pioneer Institute

CTDOL: State Adds 13,300 Jobs in First Quarter but Pace Expected to Slow
Yankee Institute

Back to Topics

State Budgets

To Tax, Or Not to Tax? The Debate on Local Sales Taxes
Center of the American Experiment

Minnesotans Bordering Wisconsin and North Dakota Warn About Impact of DFL’s Proposed Sales Tax Hike
Center of the American Experiment

The States Should Have More Leeway Over Tax Policy
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Idaho’s Budget Reform Hasn’t Saved Taxpayers Money… Yet
Idaho Freedom Foundation

Chicago Teachers Union Wants Taxpayers to Hand $2K to Each Asylum-Seeking Student
Illinois Policy

Illinois May Take on Massive Public Pension Boost with No Clue on Costs
Illinois Policy

Iowa Continues Prudent Spending with FY 2025 Budget
Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation

Florida Politics: Secret Study on Credit Card Interchange Doesn’t Belong in Florida’s Budget
James Madison Institute

Michigan Needs a Sustainable Budget to Unleash Prosperity
Mackinac Center

Gov. Mills Approves Bill Creating New Tax Giveaways for the Portland Sea Dogs
Maine Policy Institute

Amid Tax Cuts, State Revenue Growth Continues
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

A Common-Sense Constitution
Pelican Institute

Taking Federal Dollars Different than Respecting Federalism
Platte Institute

Tax Man Confounded: Why High Rates Haven’t Yielded Higher Revenue
Pioneer Institute

Missouri Needs a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, SB 727 and Metrolink Expansion
Show-Me Institute

MidAmerica Airport and MetroLink Deserve Each Other
Show-Me Institute

Silence, Disinterest Will Get Your Netflix and NFL Sunday Ticket Taxed
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Bad State Policies Squeezing Local Budgets
Yankee Institute

Back to Topics

Workplace Freedom

SEIU 1000 Security Breach Exposes Union Hypocrisy on Government Transparency
Freedom Foundation

Why the Chicago Teachers Union Married to Failure
Illinois Policy

Majority of Sunset Station Workers Want Out of Union
Nevada Policy

Back to Topics


If Fraud Was an Agency, It would be Federal Government’s Sixth Largest
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Doing Something About the Debt Bomb
Frontier Institute

Does the Constitution Have a Hidden Flaw That Could Create Tyranny? About “Gödel’s Loophole”
Independence Institute

Plato’s Philosopher Kings
Indiana Policy Review Foundation

One Big Nail in Coffin of Administrative State?
Nevada Policy

Hoover at Stanford’s Stephen Kotkin on Stalin’s Tyranny, WWII, & the Cold War
Pioneer Institute

Ignoring the Text of the Constitution a Mistake
Sutherland Institute

Back to Topics | Back to Top

The Network in the News

In Broadband Breakfast, the American Consumer Institute’s Nate Scherer highlights how lawmakers have taken an important step forward with Spectrum Pipeline Act.

In Real Clear Policy, American Consumer Institute’s Justin Leventhal writes on how the DOJ misunderstands the spirit of competition.

In Real Clear Markets, American Consumer Institute’s Trey Price commented on how FTC algorithmic pricing concerns are not based on evidence.

On RealClearEnergyThe Buckeye Institute’s Rea S. Hederman Jr. marks Earth Day by looking at the progress “Americans and their businesses have made in making the air, water, and land cleaner and healthier for everyone” and cautions against draconian government policies that could do more harm than good. 

In the Star TribuneFreedom Foundation of Minnesota‘s Annette Meeks encourages Minnesota to get rid its precinct caucuses and go to primary elections up and down the ballot.

In the Daily Inter Lake, the Frontier Institute‘s Tanner Avery notes Montana is bullish on AI.

In The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Center for Opportunity‘s Randy Hicks notes the Georgia Governor’s signature on the school choice bill is good first step.

In the Savannah Morning News, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation‘s Kyle Wingfield notes government regulations share blame for housing shortage.

In his recent column, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation‘s Kyle Wingfield notes Georgia needs more transparency and opportunity in open enrollment policies.

At Complete Colorado, the Independence Institute‘s Pam Benigno highlights how opponents of educational choice are targeting charter schools in Colorado. 

In The Wall Street Journal, the Independent Institute’s Lawrence McQuillan examines the latest plans lawmakers have that would exacerbate California’s housing crisis.

In The American Spectator, the Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley reports on how SCOTUS takes umbrage at governments’ excessive real estate fees.

In GoverningIowans for Tax Relief Foundation‘s John Hendrickson and Vance Ginn highlight the troubling proliferation of Universal Basic Income programs.

In The Center SquareIowans for Tax Relief Foundation‘s John Hendrickson highlights how Iowa taxpayers won big at the end of the 2024 legislative session.

On Fox News, the Liberty Justice Center’s Educational Liberty Attorney Dean McGee discusses California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s biased handling of a ballot initiative.

In The Detroit News, the Mackinac Center‘s Mike Reitz highlights how Michigan is abandoning education innovation. 

In the Clarion-Ledger, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy‘s Douglas Carswell considers if  there is still a chance for school funding reform in Mississippi. 

In the Los Angeles Daily News, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Kerry Jackson considers Earth Day 2024 and highlights California’s increasingly shaky grid. 

At Townhall, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Sally Pipes notes Medicare is in serious need of reform.

In The Kansas City Star, the Show-Me Institute‘s Patrick Tuohey points out single-family zoning laws are just modern redlining.

In the Deseret NewsSutherland Institute‘s William C. Duncan notes ignoring the text of the Constitution is a mistake. 

In National Review, the Washington Policy Center’s Donald Kimball examines the harms and problems net neutrality and broader FCC control over broadband infrastructure creates.

Back to Top

Categories: News