State Policy Network
Week in Review: June 7, 2024


The Buckeye Institute took home a Georgie for Best Amicus Curiae Brief this week for its brief in Relentless v. U.S. Department of Commerce, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Chevron and put an end to judicial deference to executive agencies’ interpretation of the law. The New Civil Liberties Alliance presented the award.

California Policy Center hosted a special book signing event with author education choice leader Dr. Corey DeAngelis in Orange County.

Empire Center released their latest Empire Index poll which revealed that 60% of New Yorkers believe the state is on the wrong track, up from 55% earlier this year. Highlights from the poll also include strong support for the property tax cap, with 67% of voters in counties outside NYC backing it, and 66% supporting allowing out-of-state doctors to practice in New York.

Institute for Reforming Government announced that the Co-founder and President of Unity in Hope School System Inc., Allen D. Ruppel, was named the Institute’s “Reformer of the Month” in recognition of his efforts to develop students spiritually, academically, socially, physically and emotionally through Unity in Hope School.

John Locke Foundation announced that their E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders was awarded the 2024 Program of the Year by Talent Market.

Kansas Policy Institute called on the Legislature to bypass Governor Kelly on tax relief with a constitutional amendment that she cannot veto. In addition, the Institute’s investigative journalism arm discovered that 95 state and local government employees collected more than $50,000 in overtime last year.

Maine Policy Institute announced that it would host an in-depth conversation about what policies can be enacted by school boards across the state to make public schools more transparent and accessible to Maine families.

Mountain States Policy Center announced they would be hosting education choice leader Dr. Cory DeAngelis at three upcoming events across the Mountain States.

Rio Grande Foundation announced that its education project, Opportunity for All Kids NM, will host a talk and book singing with Dr. Corey DeAngelis in Albuquerque.

South Carolina Policy Council released a preview of the coming special session and how the rules of what may be considered can be changed – changes that are relevant to a key proposed healthcare reform.

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

Institute for Reforming Government, represented by attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, filed for summary judgment in a public records lawsuit against Wisconsin Secretary of State, Sarah Godlewski.

Liberty Justice Center filed a preliminary injunction to clear the academic record of a North Carolina student who was accused of racism and wrongfully suspended—for saying the phrase “illegal aliens.” The filing also releases new information about the case, including excerpts of a recording of a school administrator’s meeting with the student’s family—where the administrator equated the phrase “illegal alien” to “the n-word.” The Center also filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Police and Illinois law enforcement officials to challenge the state’s dragnet surveillance of every citizen who drives a car or truck in the state—without a warrant or even the barest suspicion of criminal activity.

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Success Stories

Hawaii: Gov. Josh Green signed the largest income tax cut in state history into law, giving final approval to a measure that should deliver bigger paychecks for many of Hawaii’s working people as early as the beginning of next year and hopes of the beginning of a new era for Hawaii (Grassroot Institute of Hawaii).

Illinois: In a victory for voters’ rights, an Illinois court ruled that a hastily-passed election law—which changed the rules for accessing the ballot in the middle of an active election cycle—violates the constitutional rights of fourteen candidates seeking to access the ballot in the 2024 general election (Liberty Justice Center). 

Oklahoma: The legislative session came to an end, marking defensive victories in measures that did not become law including an effort to roll back pension reforms that provided stability to Oklahoma state pensions systems after years of ranking among the nation’s worst-funded pensions (Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs).

Virginia: Governor Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that Virginia will no longer comply with the California air regulations that will restrict and eventually eliminate the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles – a move that frees the Virginia from California’s misguided mandates (Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy).

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

Empire Center published a brief that examines New York state’s proposed Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, controversial legislation which would delegate control over taxpayer funds to a nonprofit organization, raising concerns about accountability and transparency and thus give rise to questions about the Legislature’s role in governing and ensuring public accountability.

Idaho Freedom Foundation released an analysis exposing how politicians’ calls for “reforming” Social Security are thinly veiled attempts to raid the program’s funds and delay addressing unsustainable spending across the federal budget.

James Madison Institute issued a brief which examines Florida’s Personalized Education Program, showing there is no catch to this excellent program that allows parents to “bundle” their benefits to send their children to a private school or “unbundle” them to put together a customized education plan.

Mountain States Policy Center released a set of briefs aimed at solving the rural broadband problem and examining the budget data of Idaho’s 10 largest school districts.

Washington Policy Center issued briefs, one analyzing King County’s move to once again bump-up their minimum wage, another uncovering why small and medium internet service providers are speaking out against net neutrality and a third examining a new study that confirms that Washington’s high housing prices are results of misguided policies.

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Tracking Positive Reforms: Updates from Network Affiliates  

Hawaii: Lawmakers proposed a bill which would lower fiscal 2025 property tax rates on the homeowner and affordable rental housing tax classes – a welcomed proposal to which business properties ought be included (Grassroot Institute of Hawaii).

Louisiana: A bill which would establish the state’s first insurance sandbox was proposed in the House – if passed, it would be a strong move for innovation with potential benefits to all state residents (Libertas Institute).

New Hampshire: The Senate proposed a property rights protection for victims of squatting by doing away with “squatter’s rights” in the state. The bill has been sent to committee to reconcile differences between the House and Senate’s proposed housing reform bills (Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy).

South Carolina: State leaders are backing a plan to resurrect a proposed healthcare restructuring bill which includes new limitations on the police and emergency powers of the state health department, though areas of uncertainty in the bill still remain (South Carolina Policy Council).

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Policy News from the States


K-12 Education

Gov. Evers Needs to Intervene in MPS, Says Former Superintendent
Badger Institute

School Choice Expansion Continues with Missouri Education Package
Cascade Policy Institute

How Homeschoolers Can Use the Georgia Promise Scholarship
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Milwaukee Public Schools Scandal and Resignation
Institute for Reforming Government

How Does a School District Go Broke with $1.1 Billion in Revenues? When It Spends $1.3 Billion.
John Locke Foundation

Revised K–12 Healthful Living Standards Raise More Questions Than Answers
John Locke Foundation

Principal to Education Choice Expert
Libertas Institute

‘Equal’ Treatment of Schools Masks Double Standard
Mackinac Center

Oklahomans’ Demand for School Choice Exceeds Supply
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Education Reforms You May Have Missed in the 2023-24 Legislative Session
Palmetto Promise Institute

Hope for MPS? How the Law Already Provides a Path Forward…
Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Connecticut Public Schools: There’s No Such Thing as Too Much
Yankee Institute

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Energy and Environment

Montana 2050: Critical Minerals
Frontier Institute

‘We’re Not Experts,’ Says State Agency Given Authority Over Placements of Wind and Solar Energy Installations
Mackinac Center

The Roots of Environmental Anti-Humanism
Mackinac Center

Would the Sky Fall if Newsom’s Environmental Budget Cuts Are Enacted? Reality Says No.
Pacific Research Institute

Running Dry: South Texas’ Water Crisis
Texas Public Policy Foundation

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Should the World Health Organization Dictate Policy for the United States?
Mountain States Policy Center

SC’s Contentious Healthcare Restructuring Bill
South Carolina Policy Council

Petty Politics and Bad Regulations Hinder Telemedicine
Commonwealth Foundation

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Housing Affordability

Montana at a Crossroads
Frontier Institute

Preapproved Plans for Multifamily Housing Would Speed Up Homebuilding
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

What is Zoning?
Libertas Institute

Portland’s Recode Should Include Ditching Rent Control
Maine Policy Institute

LA Shouldn’t Abuse ‘Historic’ Zones to Stop New Housing
Pacific Research Institute

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Jobs and State Economies

In 2023, Minnesota’s Per Capita GDP Dropped Below United States’ for First Time
Center of the American Experiment

Data Show Downtown Minneapolis Has Worst Recovery of Daytime and Weekday Activity in the United States
Center of the American Experiment

Lawmakers Can Ease Financial Worries of Pennsylvanians
Commonwealth Foundation

Another Crack at Reforming Occupational Licensing?
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Automated Lawnmowers are Just the Beginning!
Libertas Institute

There Is Disconnect Between Economic Development Programs and Economic Growth
Mackinac Center

Large Majority of U.S. Minorities Live in the Suburbs
Pacific Research Institute

Louisiana Economic Situation May 2024: Geaux Time in Louisiana- Navigating Economic Challenges with Renewed Hope
Pelican Institute

Research Note: Cost-Benefit Analysis in Regulation
Platte Institute

Research Note: Regulations in Nebraska and Iowa
Platte Institute

How Missouri and Other States Can Foster Entrepreneurship by Reforming Local Regulations
Show-Me Institute

How Wyoming Stacked Up: Insights from the Rich States, Poor States Report
Wyoming Liberty Group

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State Budgets

DFL Trails Further Tax Hikes if They Retain Their Trifecta in November
Center of the American Experiment

Keeping More of Your Own Money Is a Good Thing
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Bally’s Casino in Chicago Continues to Underperform
Illinois Policy

Take Tax Relief Out of Governor Kelly’s Hands with a Constitutional Amendment to Limit Increase in Assessed Valuations
Kansas Policy Institute

Oklahoma Legislative Session Ends with Few Major Accomplishments
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

The Legislature’s Budget Paints White Roses Red
Pacific Research Institute

An Open Letter to the Governor’s Transportation Task Force
Pioneer Institute

Universal Savings Accounts: Designing Tax Incentives that Pay to Save
Pioneer Institute

How Connecticut’s New Paid Sick Leave Law Compares to State Neighbors (PART 1)
Yankee Institute

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Workplace Freedom

The Dark Side of Big Labor: How SEIU Is Exploiting Border Crisis
Freedom Foundation

The UEA’s Frivolous Lawsuit
Libertas Institute

The Secret Ballot Meant Victory for Mercedes-Benz Workers
Mackinac Center

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The Great John Marshall, Part 3
Independence Institute

The Mathematics of Voting
Indiana Policy Review Foundation

The Scott Walker Effect
MacIver Institute

USAF Academy’s Jeanne Heidler on Henry Clay & Congressional Statesmanship
Pioneer Institute

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The Network in the News

At Talk Business & Politics, the Arkansas Policy Foundation’s Greg Kaza shows that economic growth has led to revenue growth and surpluses that have made tax cuts feasible in Arkansas.

In the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Bluegrass Institute‘s Jim Waters highlights how Amendment 2 is clearing the way for education freedom in Kentucky. 

In the Bay to Bay News, the Caesar Rodney Institute‘s David Stevenson notes Delaware’s offshore wind bill is disastrous for ratepayers. 

At Lancaster Online, the Commonwealth Foundation‘s Stephen Bloom highlights how lawmakers can ease financial worries of Pennsylvanians.

In The Daily Signal, the Freedom Foundation‘s Maddie Dermon highlights how SEIU is exploiting the border crisis.

In Lee Newspapers, the Frontier Institute‘s Kendall Cotton highlights how Montana can build on its bipartisan housing “miracle.”

In his recent column, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation‘s Kyle Wingfield considers public confidence in the criminal justice system. 
At National Review, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii‘s Keli’i Akina highlights how Blue Hawaii took the plunge on tax cuts.

At Townhall, the Independence Institute‘s Rob Natelson highlights how Justice Alito is criticized while a liberal judge gets a pass.

In The American Spectator, the Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley notes that costs for California’s high speed rail soared from $33 to $100 billion with no completion date in sight.

In The Orange County Register, the Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley remembers Bill Walton, noting that with his departure California lost an advocate for common-sense policies.

In the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the Indiana Policy Review Foundation’s Dan Heath shows how Indiana is a leader in jury reform.

In the Washington Times, Scott Walker and the Institute for Reforming Government’s Jake Curtis show how Wisconsin blazed a trail in limiting government overreach.

At Townhall, the John Locke Foundation‘s Andy Jackson notes no more children should be victims of COVID vaccine fanaticism.

In Newsweek, the John Locke Foundation‘s Brenée Goforth Swanzy highlights why Americans are feeling pessimistic about the economy. 

In The Wall Street Journal, the Mackinac Center‘s Tony Daunt and Steve Delie examine how secret ballots are game-changers for workers deciding whether or not to join a union.

In Newsweek, the Mackinac Center‘s James Hohman calls for Michigan legislators to stop the Hollywood handouts.

In The Detroit News, the Mackinac Center‘s Mike Reitz highlights the work of Michigan Tax Fighters to provide tax relief to Michigan residents. 

In The Daily Caller, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy‘s Douglas Carswell highlights the danger of viewing everything through the prism of politics.

In The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Lance Izumi notes equity grading is just grade inflation dressed in woke clothing.

At Townhall, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Sally Pipes notes Medicaid’s mission creep is hurting the poor and disabled.

In her recent column for Newsmax, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Sally Pipes points out insulin prices have fallen on their own—and Democrats appear unaware.

In the Kansas City Star, the Show-Me Institute‘s Patrick Tuohey notes regulations aren’t meant to hurt Kansas City small business—but that’s what happens. 

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Categories: News