State Policy Network
Week in Review: January 19, 2024


California Policy Center’s Parent Union is teaming up with National School Choice Week to host two school choice fairs in Southern California.

Cardinal Institute announced its three main policy priorities ahead of West Virginia’s 2024 legislative session: reforming occupational licensing requirements, eliminating certificate of need, and expanding and protecting education freedom.

Foundation for Government Accountability released a new video series, Fraud Fighters, highlighting the good work done by investigators, accountants, and enforcement officers in their efforts to prevent those who seek to defraud the taxpayer.

Free State Foundation filed reply comments showing why the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to convert internet service providers into public utilities is unwise and unlawful.

Frontier Institute submitted a public comment letter to the Montana Board of Public Education. In the letter, Frontier expressed support for enabling additional education options like public charter schools as an alternative to traditional public schools.

Goldwater Institute released the story of Dr. Carol Gandolfo, an experienced psychologist who moved from California to Arizona to find that her qualifications were unrecognized in the state – an example of the importance of Goldwater’s efforts to safeguard the right to earn a living against bureaucratic red tape and onerous licensing restrictions.

John Locke Foundation released an analysis of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s November jobs report, which shows that the state’s labor market has largely recovered from Covid lockdowns, but there is still room for improvement.

Kansas Policy Institute released polling data showing overwhelming support for school choice among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. The Institute also released an investigative report revealing that the state spent almost $1 million on each electric vehicle charging station as part of its recent federal infrastructure grant. Finally, the Institute encouraged the Legislature to call the governor’s bluff on her alleged support of tax relief.

MacIver Institute announced the promotion of Annette Olson to the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer and the creation of a new C4 advocacy arm, MacIver Impact–moves that are part of a broader reorganization aimed at strengthening MacIver’s leadership in advocating for conservative principles in Wisconsin.

Mountain States Policy Center suggested a series of simple reforms to help make it easier to follow the Idaho legislature. The Center also released a series of videos on the topics of supermajority protection, the rule of three, taxpayer receipt policies, and home equity theft.

South Carolina Policy Council released their 2025 SC Sustainable Budget report. Authored by Bryce Fiedler and Vance Ginn, the report maps South Carolina’s recent budget increases, explains why current spending growth is unsustainable, and recommends a hard limit on the next state budget based on population and inflation data.

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty submitted testimony opposing a bill which would introduce additional barriers for entrepreneurs—a $20,000 gross sales cap on all cottage foods, positioning Wisconsin as one of the most restrictive states for cottage food producers.

Back to Top

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

Liberty Justice Center filed an amicus brief that urges the Oklahoma Supreme Court to reject a petition attacking the first religious charter school in the United States. The Center also filed an amicus brief in defense of parents’ rights in Parents v. Montgomery. Today a Nebraska court will consider the Center’s arguments in favor of a preliminary injunction to halt unconstitutional local ordinances and executive orders that restrict Nebraskans’ Second Amendment rights.

Texas Public Policy Foundation asked the Supreme Court to grant review of its challenge to the constitutionality of the Federal Communication Commission’s “Universal Service Fund.”

Back to Top

Success Stories

Wisconsin: A tele-mental health bill which will immediately and dramatically expand the pool of providers available to those who need it passed the Senate on a bi-partisan vote and will soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk (Institute for Reforming Government).

Back to Top

Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

The Buckeye Institute released a new policy paper that outlines how lawmakers can use Ohio’s capital budget to increase available classroom space and make transformational investments in education.

Frontier Institute released Montana Red Tape Snapshot: 2024, a brief that takes an in-depth look at the regulations that in the state and the reductions that have been enacted to combat them.

Mackinac Center issued a brief examining Michigan Governor Whitmer’s spending policies, showing how they are out of step with her pledge to cut costs for the state’s taxpayers.

Mountain States Policy Center released a brief proposing the Public School Transparency Act, which would require all public school districts to clearly report key budget items on the first page of their website and budget. The Center also issued a brief breaking down a last-minute lawsuit to stop the merger of Kroger and Albertsons.

Pacific Research Institute published a brief examining California Governor Newsom’s proposed education budget and calling for policy that acknowledges that more money does not necessarily improve education quality.

Texas Public Policy Foundation issued a brief examining a program which would provide a “no-strings-attached $500 monthly cash payment” to almost 2,000 residents of the largest county in Texas and showing how this policy violates the Texas Constitution.

Washington Policy Center issued briefs on two proposed education policies – one lowers the threshold for votes needed to increase property taxes for school budgets and the second would allow the hiring of more non-teaching staff, diverting education funds away from teachers and student success. The Center also published a brief highlighting the needs for a diversity of energy sources, especially in the light of the recent cold snap.

Back to Top

Tracking Positive Reforms: Updates from Network Affiliates  

Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s population growth council report recommended that lawmakers “remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to workforce entry without sacrificing workplace/consumer safety or the quality of work provided to Michiganders” – a positive step towards making it easier for people to move and work in the state (Mackinac Center).

Back to Top

Policy News from the States


K-12 Education

Why Kentucky Needs School Choice
Bluegrass Institute

Local Celebrations Highlight All the Ways Oregon Students Learn
Cascade Policy Institute

What’s Missing from the Final Report on Basic Education Funding in Pennsylvania?
Commonwealth Foundation

Georgia School Choice Week: Gov. Kemp Encourages Access to Quality Education for Every Kid
Georgia Center for Opportunity

We Have Run Out of ‘Next Years’
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

IRG’s K-12 COVID Relief Audit Update Shows Hundreds of Millions Unallocated with Nine Months Remaining
Institute for Reforming Government

Yes, State Government Can Help Improve Local Educational Outcomes
John Locke Foundation

Temple Grandin Highlights Our Need for Customizable Education
Libertas Institute

Oklahoma School Reserves Hit $1.2 Billion High
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

One of the Biggest Problems Facing Schools in 2024 with Nat Malkus
Show-Me Institute

State of Private and Microschool Enrollment
Sutherland Institute

Addressing the Teacher Shortage: A Pathway to Innovation in Education
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

Back to Topics

Energy and Environment

Hawaii Five Uh-Oh! Blackouts in Hawaii
Center of the American Experiment

Are Rolling Blackouts the Price Hawaii Must Pay for Clean Energy?
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Biden Subsidizes Carmageddon
Mackinac Center

EV Mandates and Constitutional Office Selections on Inside Maine
Maine Policy Institute

Unveiling the Louisiana Public Service Commission: Enhancing Electricity Affordability and Reliability
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Polich Column on EV’s Full of Misinformation
Rio Grande Foundation

Energy Information Has Never Mattered More—So It’s Time to Reform the IEA
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Democrats Preserve Electric Car Mandate, But Promise Review of Virginia Net Zero Laws
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Back to Topics


Solution to Mississippi’s Healthcare Crisis Staring Us in the Face
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Back to Topics

Housing Affordability

Building Infrastructure Key to Lowering Housing Costs
Pacific Research Institute

Supreme Court Case Could Have Impact on Housing Affordability
Sutherland Institute

Back to Topics

Jobs and State Economies

Study Finds Working from Home Here to Stay
Center of the American Experiment

Report: Inflation Impacting Minnesotans More than National Average
Center of the American Experiment

Minnesota’s Employment Ratio Falls from 4th to 7th Highest Since 2019
Center of the American Experiment

Illinois Outmigration: Stages of Grief
Illinois Policy

More ‘Press-Release’ Eco-Devo
Indiana Policy Review Foundation

Americans Flocking to Georgia Seeking Economic Freedom
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Buc-ee’s and EVs: How the Private and Public Sectors Differ in Meeting People’s Needs
John Locke Foundation

HB 1959 Would Remove Exemption for Small Employers When It Comes to Washington State’s Paid-Leave Program
Washington Policy Center

Back to Topics

State Budgets

Concerning New Details Emerge on State Office Building Expansion — Balconies, Tunnels, and Cost Overruns
Center of the American Experiment

Hochul Tells It Like It Is — Empire Center Responds to FY25 Budget Proposal
Empire Center

Southwest Boondoggle Part I and Part II
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Dry January Savings: Illinois Wine Taxes 4x Higher Than New York, California
Illinois Policy

Will New Hampshire’s Income Tax Finally Die This Year?
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

Do Oklahoma Tax Cuts Benefit Only the Rich? No
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Record State Revenues: Tax Relief in Louisiana’s Future?
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Principles of Good Tax Policy
Platte Institute

Gov. Youngkin’s Tax Plan Will Unleash Opportunity
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Back to Topics

Workplace Freedom

Illinois Bill Would Give Unions Platform for Indoctrination in Illinois Schools
Illinois Policy

Back to Topics


NYT Bestseller Jonathan Eig on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pioneer Institute

Budget Compromise is Hard
Indiana Policy Review Foundation

Back to Topics | Back to Top

The Network in the News

In The Wall Street Journal, The Buckeye Institute’s Andrew M. Grossman co-authored a piece which argued that it was time the court ended the misguided doctrine of Chevron deference.

In The Tennessean, the Beacon Center‘s Justin Owen notes Tennessee should cap local property taxes like most American states do.

At Delaware Online, the Caesar Rodney Institute‘s David Stevenson highlights how the EPA’s unnecessary air quality standards threaten Delaware jobs.

In The OC Register, the California Policy Center‘s Will Swaim highlights a California lawmaker’s recent attempt to curb the authority of the Orange County Board of Education.

In The Daily Caller, the Commonwealth Foundation‘s Kevin Mooney points out the Biden Administration’s new climate rules could mean a big payday for his buddies—and a burden for American businesses.

In his recent column for The Denver Gazette, the Independence Institute‘s Jon Caldara notes the “Colorado Rebound” nears. 

In The American Conservative, the Independent Institute’s Phillip W. Magness notes that in the halls of academe, what matters is not what the rule is, but to whom it is applied.

In The Center SquareIowans for Tax Relief Foundation‘s John Hendrickson highlights how Gov. Reynolds is leading on national issues such as the growing threat of communist China.

In his recent column, the John Locke Foundation‘s John Hood asserts tax burdens do matter. 

In the Orange County Register, the Liberty Justice Center’s Jacob Huebert discusses property rights—on the moon.

In the Las Vegas Sun, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Sally Pipes notes candidates can’t afford silence on healthcare.

In the Washington TimesPeople United for Privacy’s Heather Lauer calls on Congress to rebuke attacks against federal privacy protections for nonprofits and their supporters.  

At RealClearEnergy, the Texas Public Policy Foundation‘s Mark Mills notes it’s time to reform the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In The Republican Standard, the Thomas Jefferson Institute‘s Stephen Haner points out successful tax reform in Virginia requires allies and the Governor.

Back to Top

Categories: News