This weekly round-up shares the latest news about what the Network is doing to promote state-based solutions that will improve the lives of families, workers, and local communities. If you are an SPN member and have an update you’d like us to include in next week’s round-up, please email us at email@example.com (all submissions are subject to SPN approval).
This Week on SPN.org
Kansas Justice Institute protects the constitutional liberties of restaurant owners and goers
KJI secures Kansans’ rights in government overreach case.
Tax and licensing reforms help Connecticut and its citizens through coronavirus economic challenges
Yankee Institute helps Connecticut implement reforms to support businesses and their employees during the pandemic.
- Empower Mississippi named Russ Latino as Senior Vice President. Latino was a founding board member of the organization. In this role, Latino will head up the policy team and play a key role in strategy, coalition building, and advocacy.
- Good news for public employees in Texas—the state’s attorney general plans to release an advisory opinion soon that could lead to opt-in public sector union membership. This is similar to what was proposed in Alaska in August 2019. The opinion is a step towards ensuring no Texas government employee pays union dues unless they explicitly give consent to the state.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
Shifting Special Needs Students to Online Learning in the COVID-19 Spring
The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Nebraska Economy: Third Cut
Decision of the Century: New Report Lays Out a 2021 Budget Strategy for Prosperity
Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Exposing Overreach: Tarrant County
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Poll: Messaging Reopening in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
Research & Initiatives
- As the Alabama Department of Transportation considers installing more surveillance equipment on roads and highways, the Alabama Policy Institute argued this should alarm those who value individual liberty.
- The Association of American Educators produced a video to thank all educators teaching during the pandemic.
- After a former finance director of a school district plead guilty to embezzling $1.6 million from taxpayers, the Bluegrass Institute called for greater financial accountability for Kentucky’s public education system.
- Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony to the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee on a bill which would permanently allow restaurants and bars to offer alcohol on their carryout and delivery menus. Buckeye noted the policy would help local businesses maintain a revenue stream.
- The California Policy Center reviewed state and county school reopening guidelines for the Fall, and argued these heavy-handed plans should convince parents to homeschool if possible.
- Cascade Policy Institute encouraged Oregon to implement an Education Savings Account (ESA) program to meet kids’ urgent education needs.
- The Center of the American Experiment highlighted how Minnesota’s restaurants and bars are finding it hard to operate with new rules.
- Civitas Institute compared North Carolina’s current state budget and fiscal situation with that of a decade ago, and argues conservative leadership has helped the state weather the coronavirus’ fiscal challenges.
- The Commonwealth Foundation explained how Back on Track Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) can provide funds to Pennsylvania families so they can deal with at-home learning.
- In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Empire Center highlighted how unions in New York have pushed legislation that would make it harder to fire state police officers credibly accused of using excessive force.
- The Ethan Allen Institute outlined the problems with recent calls to tax the rich to address Vermont’s $430 million revenue shortfall.
- In a new video, the Georgia Center for Opportunity discussed the Georgia Governor’s suggestions for returning to school in the Fall.
- To help Georgians get back on their feet, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation noted eliminating rigid regulations is a good first step.
- In a video townhall, the Goldwater Institute discussed the importance of innovation and flexibility to meet the coronavirus’ education challenges.
- A new video from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii shows how the economic shutdown puts some lives in danger.
- The Idaho Freedom Foundation reminded parents that returning to government schools is not their only option.
- The Illinois Policy Institute released five reasons why Illinois’ latest spending plan insults taxpayers.
- John Locke Foundation CEO Amy Cooke explained how JLF’s new “Carolina Rebound” report will help guide North Carolina to winning the economic recovery.
- The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy reviewed reopening timelines across the states and argued the justifications for prolonged closures are unraveling.
- The Kansas Policy Institute encouraged state lawmakers to make taxpayers their number one priority in the special session.
- Libertas Institute released past and future ideas for police reform.
- The Mackinac Center is representing Sarah Huff, a salon owner who opened her business in defiance of the Michigan Governor’s executive order and gave out free haircuts at an event at the Lansing capitol building. The Michigan State Police cited Huff for violating the executive orders.
- The Maine Policy Institute called on the Maine Legislature to convene a special legislative session to direct the state’s immediate economic response to the coronavirus.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs summarized the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s school reopening plan.
- Pacific Research Institute released their 2020 Summer Reading List.
- The Pegasus Institute argued the American free enterprise system is the key to solving the coronavirus crisis and rebuilding our decimated economy.
- As Section 230 becomes a topic of debate, the Pelican Institute explained what the federal law is and how it protects the speech of Louisianans.
- The Pioneer Institute created “Respect My Rights,” a web-based hotline where citizens can submit complaints and descriptions of rights violations they have experienced.
- The Reason Foundation published a resource for state legislators and staff that answers questions on how the pandemic has affected state-sponsored public pension plans.
- The Rio Grande Foundation noted now is the time to take a hard look at police and teacher unions.
- As consumers and providers recognize the value of telemedicine, the Show-Me Institute encouraged states to embrace the technology and remove the current barriers permanently.
- The Washington Policy Center explained why extending school closures through the Fall will hurt children.
Think Tanks in the News
- Fox 17 in Nashville is featuring the Beacon Center’s property tax research in a four-part series. In the first segment released this week, Beacon suggested the city’s financial disaster has less to do with a terrible tornado or a historic pandemic and more to do with reckless spending.
- In The Orange County Register, the California Policy Center pointed out that in order to reform police, you have to rein in police unions.
- On Fox News Online, Commonwealth Foundation CEO Charles Mitchell addressed the secrecy and hypocrisy of the Pennsylvania Governor during the coronavirus crisis.
- The Foundation for Government Accountability noted telemedicine should be made permanent after the coronavirus crisis passes.
- The Freedom Foundation appeared on Fox News to discuss how the Justice Department gave the Drug Enforcement Administration permission to conduct covert surveillance in the George Floyd protests.
- As state lawmakers look for savings in the budget, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation recommended policymakers not cut Georgia’s tuition tax credit scholarship program—noting the program saves the state money.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii encouraged state lawmakers to lift the state and county coronavirus lockdowns to save lives.
- The Goldwater Institute appeared on Good Morning San Diego to discuss their effort to fight AB-5, California’s anti-freelancing law.
- The James Madison Institute argued we might have overreacted in taking the experts’ advice to shut down the entire country and economy.
- The John Locke Foundation considered the jobs lost in North Carolina and urged the governor to reopen the economy more rapidly and extensively.
- In The Hill, the Mackinac Center argued any continuing federal relief for education should offer students and their families the support they need to choose what works best for them.
- The Maryland Public Policy Institute argued a minimum wage freeze would boost Maryland’s economic recovery.
- In the Clarion Ledger, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy outlined several police reforms that would bring accountability and restore trust in law enforcement.
- The Nevada Policy Research Institute highlighted how government labor contract negotiations held in private shield politicians, government officials, and union leaders from accountability.
- The Pacific Research Institute argued the coronavirus is no excuse to expand Medicaid.
- Sutherland Institute noted recent protests turned riots underscores a lack of civic understanding in America.
- In The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Policy Center pointed out how the Washington Governor’s science-based path for the state’s recovery is designed to imply science but lacks meaningful data. Author Todd Myers discussed this issue further on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle.
Virtual Events &
John Locke Foundation: Protecting Donor Privacy in North Carolina
June 8, 2020
John Locke Foundation: Carolina Rebound Virtual Town Hall: Budget, Taxation, and the Economy
June 17, 2020
Texas Public Policy Foundation: React and Recover: HHS and the Plan to Combat COVID-19
June 8, 2020
Authored by: Camille Walsh
Communications Manager · State Policy Network