State Policy Network
Week in Review: April 30, 2021


This week on

SPN State Job Report: 49 states gain payroll jobs in March

Treasury statement opens the door to pro-growth state tax reforms

States adopt coronavirus liability protections for businesses to accelerate economic recovery

Success stories

Solutions from the states: This week’s policy briefs

Students Bear Brunt of COVID-19 Inequality
A new analysis from the Badger Institute points out Wisconsin families are turning to private schools as the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) ignores federal entreaties and keeps classrooms shut.

Clear the Red Tape to Rebuild a Stronger Pennsylvania
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Governor repealed regulations to allow our healthcare sector to respond to the evolving crisis. Nonmedical regulatory restrictions—such as permitting cocktails to-go—were also lifted to help small businesses. A new report by the Commonwealth Foundation highlights how Pennsylvania currently has over 163,000 rules, which disproportionately harm small businesses. Many of these regulatory repeals should be made permanent, and additional reforms should be passed.

Ten Opportunities for Welfare Reform States Can Pursue No Matter Who is in The White House
The Foundation for Government Accountability has identified 10 reforms that states can and should exercise to reduce waste and dependency across welfare programs in their states.  

The Pandemic’s Silver Lining: The Growing Popularity of School Choice, Part 2
The John Locke Foundation discusses two more ways to expand school choice in North Carolina.

For Cleaner Voting Rolls, North Carolina Should Join Interstate Data-Sharing Group
Keeping voter rolls clean is a crucial part of maintaining election security. The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBE) currently does that alone. A new policy brief by the John Locke Foundation notes there is an interstate system that would allow the state board to share and use data to make our elections more secure.

“The 2021 Texas Power Crisis: What Happened and What Can Be Done to Avoid Another One?” 
 A new report by the Reason Foundation focuses on Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the electric power system because the power outages were the proximate cause of many hardships suffered during the failures.

Sketching a New Conservative Education Agenda
Seeking to imagine what a robust conservative education agenda might look like, American Enterprise Institute director of education policy studies, Rick Hess, invited a collection of education thinkers to sketch 23 brief proposals that go beyond the traditional conservative litany. Sketching a New Conservative Education Agenda explores an array of topics, from hybrid homeschooling to the creation of nonprofit school safety auditors to competency-based federal student lending. 

Guiding Tech Principles
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy‘s Technology Institute released its Guiding Tech Principles, a document meant to help outline and promote a vision for free market-inspired tech policy changes.

A Grim Distinction: Massachusetts Would Have Top Marginal Short-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate in the US Under the Proposed Graduated Income Tax
A state constitutional amendment promoted by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union adding a 4 percent surtax to all annual income above $1 million could devastate innovative startups dependent on Boston’s financial services industry for funding, ultimately hampering the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 economic recession, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Policy news from the states

Checking in on legislative sessions

Legislative Session: Week Ten at the State House
Alabama Policy Institute

Phil Williams Speaks on SB97 Before House Health Committee
Alabama Policy Institute

How to Tell Which Bills to Veto
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

“Lowest Cost Generation Available”: Legislators Seek to Help NC’s Electricity Consumers
John Locke Foundation

The Legislature Can Help Support Skilled Trades
Texas Public Policy Foundation

The Good, the Bad, And the ‘What Do We Do Now’ From the Legislative Session
Washington Policy Center

Lawmakers Wanted an Income Tax Lawsuit – They’ll Get Two
Washington Policy Center


2020 Census Results Show That Americans Vote With Their Feet
Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy

Surprising Upside in NY Census Total Points to Bigger Shift in Albany
Empire Center for Public Policy

While the South Grows, Mississippi Loses Population
Empower Mississippi

What’s Behind New Jersey’s Surprising Census Results?
Garden State Initiative

Illinois loses 1 seat in Congress after 2020 Census shows first population drop in 200 years
Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois Lawmakers Tackle Balloons, Pitchfork Fishing, But Keep Residents in Dark on Ethics Reforms
Illinois Policy Institute

States Gaining and Losing US House Seats: How Does Nebraska Compare?
Platte Institute


School Choice Stories: Becky Griffin
Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy

Gov. Walz Should Fully Reopen Minnesota
Center of the American Experiment

No, Education Savings Accounts Are Not the Same as Vouchers
Center of the American Experiment

Illinois Teachers Unions Push Bill For New Health Rules on All In-Person Schooling
Illinois Policy Institute

Must Watch Video: Democrat Legislator’s Impassioned Speech For School Choice
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Louisianans Want Fiscal Transparency in Schools
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Election integrity

Georgia Voters Support Election Reforms That Restore Trust in Election Process and Protects Voters
Ethan Allen Institute

House Passes Bill to End Outside Partisan Takeover of Election Administration
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Government Accountability

COVID-19 ‘Vax Pass’ May Be Needed to See Chicago Summer Concerts, Events
Illinois Policy Institute

Maine Policy Statement on Mask Mandate, Economic Reopening
Maine Policy Institute

Governor McKee Mis-informed About Mask Mandates
Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity


Ten Reasons to Oppose ‘Albanycare’
Empire Center for Public Policy

Auto Insurance Provides A Model For Health Insurance Reform
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Vaccinations Killed the Mask Mandate, and Now Show the Way Forward
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

Medicare for All Would Put Even More Strain on Doctors
Pacific Research Institute

Expand Access To Quality Health Care in Louisiana
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Jobs and state economies

The Number of Minnesotans Not Working is On the Rise
Center of the American Experiment

‘Enhanced’ Unemployment Insurance is Paying Minnesotans $26 an Hour
Center of the American Experiment

Empire Downward: Pandemic Policy Responses are Hindering NY’s Recovery
Empire Center for Public Policy

7 Reasons to Reject the Graduated Tax and Instead Focus on Growing Jobs
Pioneer Institute

How Are We Recovering? (Part 1)
Show-Me Institute

Lawsuits Led to Licensing Reform, But More Work is Needed
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Review Shows Film Subsidies a Net Drain on State Government
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

State budgets and spending

Truth in Taxation is a Model for Legislative Change
Kansas Policy Institute

How Basic Income Could Promote Economic Advancement Rather Than Government Dependency
Pacific Research Institute

Policy Corner: Finance Committee Makes Leaving Connecticut Pay with Second Income Tax
Yankee Institute for Public Policy


To Beat Poverty, Start by Measuring it Better
Foundation for Government Accountability

Opportunities for Greater Bipartisanship
Frontier Institute

Guaranteed Income Subsidizes Poverty And Trivializes Those In Need
Georgia Center for Opportunity

Guaranteed Income Subsidizes Poverty and Trivializes Those in Need
Georgia Center for Opportunity

Giving to Charities Should Not Put You at Risk of Harm
John Locke Foundation

Court-Packing Would Ruin the Republic
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Paycom CEO Vowed to ‘Come after the OCPA’
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

President Biden’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ideas
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Time to Re-Imagine “Enabling” Policies
Maryland Public Policy Institute

Think tanks in the news

Incompetence on the Loose in Frankfort
Bluegrass Institute in Wave 3 News

Legislators Move to Gut Charter Schools Further to Appease Teachers Unions
California Policy Center in The OC Register

A New Unemployment Problem: It Pays Too Well
Center of the American Experiment in the Star Tribune

School Closures Highlight The Need For Parental Choice
Commonwealth Foundation at The Daily Caller 

Biden Takes Aim at the Judiciary
Foundation for Government Accountability in the Washington Examiner

Big Labor Wants to Salt the Earth
Freedom Foundation at RealClearPolicy

New Jersey’s Self-Inflicted Fiscal Woes May Bring Statewide Property Tax
Garden State Initiative in RealClearPolicy

Why the District of Columbia Should Not Be a State
Independence Institute in The Epoch Times

Gov. Tony Evers Would Leave the Next Budget Upside Down
Institute for Reforming Government in the Wisconsin State Journal

Tax Policy Shapes Migration Flows
John Locke Foundation in The Laurinburg Exchange

The Heartland Property-Tax Rebellion
Kansas Policy Institute at National Review

The PRO Act Would Hurt Independent Contractors in Utah
Libertas Institute in The Salt Lake Tribune

Federal Funding is a Poor Plan to Improve Infrastructure
Mackinac Center in The Hill 

What Health-Care Affordability Crisis?
Pacific Research Institute in National Review

Medicare for All Would Put Even More Strain on Doctors
Pacific Research Institute in Newsweek

City of Las Cruces Should Reject Bag Ban
Rio Grande Foundation in the Las Cruces Sun News

Categories: News
Organization: State Policy Network