State Policy Network
Week in Review: March 31, 2023


The Alaska Policy Forum testified before the Alaska House Ways & Means Committee about controlling state spending.

Americans for Fair Treatment highlighted how American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten singled out political priorities as a centerpiece of the teachers union’s strategy going forward.

The Buckeye Institute testified on policies that would replace Ohio’s current income tax with a 2.75 percent flat tax and put Ohio on the road to comprehensive and responsible tax reform. 

California Policy Center kicked off the Take Back California Education Reform Tour—a platform that will identify real-world actions that can be taken to advance meaningful education reform at the local and state levels. 

Center of the American Experiment is hosting a Freedom Rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

A new Empower Mississippi poll shows GOP voter views on crime solutions.

The Philanthropy Roundtable highlighted how charitable giving is helping expand freedom of expression on college campuses.

Want to hear analysis on the latest happenings in North Carolina? The Carolina Journal announced “The Debrief,” a roundtable style discussion program reminiscent of Fox News’ “The Five.”

The Mackinac Center noted repealing right-to-work is a massive, unforced error.

The Mississippi Center for Public Policy hosted Betsy DeVos this past week, who spoke to a room filled with hundreds of Mississippians on the need for school choice.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) formally launched its newest initiative, the Preserving Democracy Project (PDP). The project will enforce the structural limitations on government power, hold bureaucrats to the rule of law, and fight back against rogue government officials at the local, state and federal level—who act beyond the authority given to them.

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

The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Moore v. United States, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and reverse a ruling out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that would expand congressional authority to levy taxes well beyond what the Constitution and court precedent allow. 

Success Stories

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and legislative leaders announced that Arkansas’ income tax will be cut. The Arkansas Policy Foundation applauded Arkansas lawmakers for recognizing the importance of reducing the top state income tax rate from 4.9% to 4.7%, and the corporate rate from 5.3% to 5.1%, retroactive to January 1, 2023.

West Virginia repealed certificate of need (CON) laws for hospital services and birthing centers (Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy).

Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs

Truth in Accounting released its latest Transparency Score Report for financial reporting by state governments.

The Buckeye Institute released a new report which looked at the economic impact of obesity and found that more than 32,000 Ohioans would be working if obesity were eliminated. Those newly employed Ohioans would generate nearly $20 million in additional revenues for the state. 

The Buckeye Institute outlined Buckeye-championed free-market policies that would help Ohio transition from its “‘Rust Belt’ roots into a technological, 21st century Silicon Heartland.” The recommendations focused on five key policy areas: worker training and education, regulatory “sandboxes,” drone technology, data protection, and state-based immigration. 

Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy examined the proper role of municipal government.

Commonwealth Foundation released a Fact Sheet on Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.

The average profit margins of New York hospitals — and the share of institutions operating in the black — hit their highest levels in at least five years in 2021, according to a new analysis of the most recent data published by the Empire Center.

A new report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) highlights a rampant problem with a price tag of $400 billion: widespread fraud in the unemployment insurance (UI) system. 

The Kansas Policy Institute outlined three ways Truth in Taxation empowers taxpayers.

The Platte Institute released an analysis of a bill to reform the income tax in Nebraska.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) a report that shows local government is strangling home-based businesses with red tape, hurting economic growth, and infringing on freedom.

Tracking Positive Reforms in the States: Updates from State Think Tanks

Florida and Arkansas are advancing bills that end government collection of union dues from teachers’ paychecks (Freedom Foundation).

Hawaii is considering a bill which would streamline licensing for physicians (Grassroot Institute of Hawaii).

Kentucky adopted a universal regulatory sandbox (Libertas Institute).

The Kentucky Legislature passed legislation that removes the anti-growth bourbon barrel tax (Bluegrass Institute).

Montana is considering a bill that strengthens Montana property owners right to build affordable starter homes (Frontier Institute)

The Georgia Legislature passed a bill that would recognize occupational licenses obtained in other states when an individual moves to Georgia (Georgia Public Policy Foundation).

An open enrollment bill has passed the South Carolina House (Palmetto Promise Institute).

The Texas Senate Education Committee passed an ESA bill to the Senate floor for a full vote (Texas Public Policy Foundation).

Policy News from the States

K-12 Education

Start Putting Students First
Alabama Policy Institute

Cash for Alaska’s School Districts: March 2023 Update
Alaska Policy Forum

Funding Gap: Wisconsin Choice And Charter Schools Shortchanged
Badger Institute

What Do 45 States Have That Montana Doesn’t?
Frontier Institute

What Is The Future Of School Choice In Georgia?
Georgia Public Policy Foundation


What Happened To CON Reform This Year?
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

SJM 8006 Wants To Take Washingtonians Down The Wrong Health Care Path
Washington Policy Center

Jobs and State Economies

Growing Minnesota’s Economy Is The Best Way To End Poverty
Center of the American Experiment

Minnesota Recovers All Private Sector Jobs Lost In Pandemic – After 34 Other States Already Have
Center of the American Experiment

Pandemic-Driven Population Shift Within NYS Winds Down — And Flight To Rest Of US Continues
Empire Center

Trailing most states, New York remains below pre-pandemic jobs peak
Empire Center

GSI Analysis: New Jersey Q4 GDP & Income Growth Sluggish to Close 2022
Garden State Initiative

91 of 102 Illinois counties lose population in 2022
Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois Job Growth Among Worst In U.S. During Pritzker’s First Term
Illinois Policy Institute

N.H. Could Become First New England State To License Music Therapists
Josiah Bartlett Center

Nessel Opinion Not Binding On Courts
Mackinac Center

Onerous Regulations Hinder Budding Nevada Barbers
Nevada Policy Research Institute

State Budgets

Memo To Reluctant Legislators: Hawaii Can Afford To Cut Taxes
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Chicago Has More Pension Debt Than 44 States
Illinois Policy Institute

How to Protest Your Property Assessment in Iowa
Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation

Property Taxes Rise as Cities Suffer From Mission Creep
Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation

Highlights from the N.C. House Budget Reveal
John Locke Foundation

Partisan Budget a Blow to Hardworking Mainers
Maine Policy Institute

Spotlight On Taxes: Oklahoma Income Tax
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Proposed Budget Spends More Than Half Of Climate Funding On Expanding Government, Not Climate Projects
Washington Policy Center

Legislature 2023: Despite Record Revenues And Being The Only State In The Nation Not Giving Broad Tax Relief, Washington House Democrats Are Considering Increasing Taxes.
Washington Policy Center

Road User Charge/Mileage Tax
Washington Policy Center

Early Response To Washington’s Capital Gains Excise Tax (AKA Income Tax) Court Ruling
Washington Policy Center

Workplace Freedom

Federal Labor Board Records Show Challenge Of Union Accountability
Americans for Fair Treatment

Teachers unions critical of ‘Parents Bill of Rights’
Americans for Fair Treatment

Public Funds Shouldn’t Bankroll Union Coercion
Beacon Center

Johnson Campaign Up To $5.6M From Teachers Unions After Another Big Donation
Illinois Policy Institute


The Return Of The Baby Formula Tariff Has Brought On Another Shortage
Center of the American Experiment

President Biden Is Wrong About ESG—Here’s Why
Foundation for Government Accountability

State Think Tanks in the News

At RealClearPolicy (placed by SPN), the John Locke Foundation outlines lessons from the Great Recession.

In InsideSources, the Pioneer Institute highlighted a federal drug discount program that helps the wealthy.

In The Hill (picked up by Drudge Report), Erin Norman analyzes a new WSJ/NORC poll that finds American values are on the decline.

In the VT Digger, the Ethan Allen Institute considers Vermont’s State Land Use Plan.

In Crain’s Chicago Business, the Illinois Policy Institute makes the case for a property tax freeze.

At RealClearPolicy (placed by SPN), The Buckeye Institute and Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation highlight Ohio as a model for regulatory reform.

In the Star News Network, the California Policy Center highlights Trump’s 2024 agenda.

In The Mercury, the Commonwealth Foundation notes Governor Shapiro should represent workers over powerful campaign donors.

At RealClearMarkets, the Kansas Policy Institute notes ESG demands transparency, but is the embodiment of opaque.

In the Washington Times, The James Madison Institute highlights Florida’s recent tort reform win.

In his recent column, John Hood notes we’re sliding toward single payer.

At Vermont Biz, the Ethan Allen Institute considers a Clean Heat Standard bill making its way through the Vermont Legislature.

In The Center Square, Iowan for Tax Relief Foundation argues conservatives should be concerned with the trade deficit.

In Crain’s Detroit Business, the Mackinac Center notes Michigan deserves accountability for Medicaid.

In The Federalist, the Texas Public Policy Foundation notes America must opt out of the World Health Organization’s global medical tyranny

In the Star Tribune, the Center of the American Experiment considers a proposal to exempt Social Security from the state income tax.

In his recent column for The Gazette, the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara examines a shooting at Denver’s East High School.

In the Daily Herald, the Libertas Institute considers policies that provide police oversight.

In the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada Policy Research Institute highlights a proposal to raise Nevadans’ property taxes.

In his recent column, OCPA’s Jonathan Small notes Oklahoma must compete in education.

In the Albuquerque Journal, the Rio Grande Foundation criticized New Mexico lawmakers for failing to enact tax cuts amid a budget surplus. 

Events and Opportunities

Please see SPN’s Network Calendar for a full list of events.

Categories: News
Organization: State Policy Network