State Policy Network
Week in Review: May 12, 2023


Frontier Institute wrote a letter urging the Montana Governor to sign education freedom legislation – in particular – three bills which currently sit on the Governor’s desk which would increase the funding cap for education tax credits, expand innovative education options, and more. 

Independence Institute published Merit Academy: A Story of Perseverance, relating how citizens in the small community of Woodland Park, Colorado worked to overcome an educational gap in their community. 

Institute for Reforming Government released a first-of-its-kind community engagement report, What Wisconsin Wants, to showcase the lessons, insights and stories learned from extensive travels and conversations. 

Maine Policy Institute provided testimony in favor of affirming and prioritizing parental rights in K-12 education, balancing the emergency powers of the executive and legislature, increasing child care choices, and more. 

Mississippi Center for Public Policy hosted the best-selling author Rafael Mangual for a luncheon last week to discuss the best solutions to combatting crime in Mississippi.  

Mountain States Policy Center held its first Spring Dinner with keynote address from Trey Gowdy. The event’s success illustrated a yearning for conservative, free market policies and recommendations – without the name calling. 

Nevada Policy announced the details about its upcoming Reno, Nevada “Spirit of Nevada” Benefit Dinner at the Peppermill Resort on Thursday, June 1. 

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has been named a finalist in the “general news single story” category of the recent eight-state Great Plains Journalism Awards competition, a designation of journalistic excellence. 

Pelican Institute released a new jobs report that highlights Louisiana’s economic situation based on the most recent data. 

Philanthropy Roundtable’s President and CEO Elise Westhoff shared the news that she will step down so as to devote her full attention to being present for her family through an exciting period of change. 

In legislative testimony on Ohio’s budget, The Buckeye Institute urged the Ohio Senate to expand important school choice options to more families and “make all students eligible for Ohio’s most successful school choice program.”  

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty released its newest policy report, “Chalkboards and Campaign Checks: Political Contributions of Wisconsin Teachers and Education Reform,” which examined the state’s campaign finance system. 

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty testified on Occupational Licensure Reforms before the Wisconsin State Assembly. 

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

In Knight v. Nashville, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit agreed with the Beacon Center of Tennessee and the Southeastern Legal Foundation ruling that Nashville’s controversial sidewalk law was an unconstitutional taking in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in the case, calling on the court to stop the city of Nashville from extorting payments from its citizens to build sidewalks in exchange for building permits. 

Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit that alleges that a California statute violates the First Amendment by denying the general public access to the dates, times and locations of new government employee orientations – all the while furnishing labor unions with the exact same information. 

The New Civil Liberties Alliance and the Mackinac Center filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the challenge to the student loan payment pause.  

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI for withholding a recent Nashville shooter’s manifesto. This lawsuit was precipitated by a May 5th denial of a request for the manifesto by the DOJ. 

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Success Stories 

Florida: The Governor signed into law the country’s most aggressive state labor reform in more than a decade. The new law will allow state government employees more control over their workplace representation and hold unions accountable to their membership. (James Madison Institute, Freedom Foundation and Mackinac Center

Iowa: Session ended last week and the legislature passed a conservative budget, despite the many pressures to increase spending. Taxpayers will benefit from the budget growing well below the growth of the economy allowing more money to remain in the productive private sector. (Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation) 

South Carolina: This week, South Carolina residents have reason to celebrate as the state repealed its CON laws. (Palmetto Promise Institute) 

Tennessee: The Beacon Center won an appeal in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals which will protect property rights in Nashville. The Court ruled that the city of Nashville cannot avoid constitutional protections for private property simply by taking individuals’ property through legislative action. 

Texas: The Senate passed legislation that will provide Texans with greater transparency regarding their hospital bills. (Texas Public Policy Foundation) 

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

Alaska Policy Forum published the final piece of a four-part series detailing the implementation of the Alaska Reads Act. 

American Enterprise Institute published a Conservative solution for the student loan crisis which advocated for nudging students toward more practical degrees. 

Center for Economic Accountability’s published its “Economic Development Week” report, which added up the claimed “job creation” figures from all 50 state economic development agencies to demonstrate just how irrelevant their programs are in the context of the national economy.  

Center of the American Experiment explained in detail the proposed “Global Intangible Low Tax Income” policy, which would add a newly-defined category of foreign income added to corporate taxable income each year for Minnesota businesses. 

Foundation for Government Accountability published an analysis that attributed Florida’s success to its legislative and executive oversight, which makes it one of the top states in the country for business. 

Frontier Institute released its second part of the “Green Gold Rush” series where it makes the case for why rare earth mining is good for America. 

MacIver Institute published a brief unpacking a bill which would require price transparency from Wisconsin hospitals in state law, a positive reform that is on the move in the state (see “Know Your Healthcare Costs Act” below). 

Mackinac Centerreleased a study that analyzes the impact of prevailing wage laws on the cost of construction.  

Pacific Research Institute made the case for the privatization of 0.5% of federal land in the United States. 

Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Liberty analyzed the results of a survey that tested Puerto Rico taxpayers’ knowledge of the main principles of economic liberty and the free market, and their affinity to them. 

The Buckeye Instituteoutlined how lawmakers can reshape Ohio’s higher education system to meet the needs of the 21st century and recommended that they take a page from the school choice playbook and give vouchers directly to students rather than simply subsidizing colleges. 

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Tracking Positive Reforms in the States: Updates from Network Affiliates

Louisiana: Louisiana lawmakers in the House advanced two bills to expand educational freedom, making it easier for families to enroll their children in the school that best fits their individual needs. (Pelican Institute for Public Policy) 

Ohio: Lawmakers voted to place an amendment on the ballot asking voters to protect Ohio’s Constitution by requiring a 60% vote to amend the Constitution. Speaking in favor of the amendment during the debate, The Buckeye Institute urged the General Assembly to “avoid the Californication of our state constitution.” 

Texas: Texans are one step closer to accessing cutting-edge treatments after legislators voted to advance a bill which would empower patients with rare diseases to work with their physicians to seek innovative, highly specialized treatments. (Goldwater Institute) 

Wisconsin: A press conference was held at the Wisconsin State Capitol to formally introduce the “Know Your Healthcare Costs Act” which would lay out clear requirements for hospitals to share pricing with consumers. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and other business groups were present at the event in support of the legislation. 

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Policy News from the States 

K-12 Education  

The Homeschool Revolution 
Center of the American Experiment 

NY Schools Plan to Spend Nearly $32k Per Student 
Empire Center for Public Policy 

Randi Weingarten’s Legacy: The School Choice Revolution 
Empower Mississippi Foundation 

U.S. History Tests Show the Falling Floor for Student Achievement 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

Why North Carolina Needs a Strong Parents Bill of Rights, Part 2 
John Locke Foundation 

How Many Administrators are Needed to Run a School District? 
Kansas Policy Institute 


KY Supreme Court Will Have the Final Word on the Beshear Administration’s MCO Mess 
Bluegrass Institute 

Mayo Clinic Loses Patience with Walz and the Legislature 
Center of the American Experiment 

Depressed? The Government is Making it Harder to Access Quality Care 
Goldwater Institute 

Oklahoma Hospital Prevails Against Biden Administration 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Energy and Environment  

Electric Vehicles Are Cleaning Up California’s Air, But Mostly for the Affluent. The Same Will Be True in Minnesota 
Center of the American Experiment 

Xcel Energy to Add Even More Solar Panels to Its ‘Sherco Solar’ Project as Grid Reliability Dwindles 
Center of the American Experiment 

EAI Statewide Poll: Voters Strongly Reject the Affordable Heat Act 
Ethan Allen Institute 

The Earth’s Future is Better Than You Think 
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota 

Oklahoma ESG Law Gets Blackrock’s Attention 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

California Diesel Ban: Another Uneconomical Mandate 
Pacific Research Institute 

The Great Carbon Capture Scam 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Will a Simpler Electric Bill Lower Your Costs? 
Thomas Jefferson Institute 

Jobs and State Economies 

Survey on the Free Market in Puerto Rico Published 
Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Liberty 

Seattle City Council Caps Rent Late Fees at $10 Guaranteeing to Increase Rents in the City 
Washington Policy Center 

New Minneapolis Fed Studies Support Their Previous Finding That Minimum Wage Hikes in the Twin Cities Cost Jobs 
Center of the American Experiment 

Low Tax States Continue to Attract New Residents 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

Prices Increased 0.4% in April; Consumers Squeezed Despite 10th Rate Increase by Fed 
John Locke Foundation 

New Report Shows Continued Population Growth in Oklahoma 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Mortgages, Job Applications, and Equity 
Show-Me Institute 

CT Poised to Expand Sick Time from 40-80 Days 
Yankee Institute 

State Budgets  

Personal Taxes on Alaskans Would be Harmful 
Alaska Policy Forum 

Nobody Really Knows How Much Minnesota’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Scheme Is Going to Cost 
Center of the American Experiment 

Montana Taxpayers Should Be Thankful We’re Not Getting All the Government We’re Paying For 
Frontier Institute 

Shoddy Jobs and Bathroom Bribes Robbed Georgia Taxpayers of Millions 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

Is Fiscal Conservatism Dead in the Idaho GOP? 
Idaho Freedom Foundation 

Illinois Gas Tax Revenue Hits $212 Million In April, Highest Monthly Total This Year 
Illinois Policy Institute 

Kansas’ $1 Billion Panasonic Handout Part of a $100 Billion in Subsidies Nationwide 
Kansas Policy Institute 

Kansas Collects Higher State Tax Per Capita Than Average 
Kansas Policy Institute 

Budget ’24: Cut Michigan Strategic Fund Money 
Mackinac Center 

No, Tax Cuts Do Not Cause Inflation 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Collective Bargaining a Bad Deal for New Orleans Taxpayers 
Pelican Institute for Public Policy 

CT Ranks Among Worst for Best Individual Income Tax Climate 
Yankee Institute 

Workplace Freedom 

Inslee Finally Ends His COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate 
Washington Policy Center 

Public Sector Union Employees Deserve More Power Over Their Leadership 
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives 

Union Pressure Aims to Hit Home 
Empire Center for Public Policy 

Build a Better Future of Work 
Libertas Institute 

AFSCME Has Lost 200K-Plus Members and Fee-Payers Nationwide Since Janus Decision 
Mackinac Center 


A Bottomless Pothole Foretells More Problems Ahead for Washington State 
Washington Policy Center 

Criminal Justice Reality 
Mississippi Center for Public Policy 

The Truth About Ranked Choice Voting 
Foundation for Government Accountability 

Illinois’ COVID Disaster Ends after 1,155 Days 
Illinois Policy Institute 

The Constitution’s ‘Selective Incorporation’ and Federalism 
Indiana Policy Review Foundation 

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The Network in the News 

In The Lima News, The Buckeye Institute urged the Ohio Senate to make vouchers available to “every child and every family in every community.”  

In The Columbus Dispatch, The Buckeye Institute and Americans for Prosperity-Ohio outlined the benefits and effectiveness of a flat tax, urging the Ohio General Assembly to “dramatically improve Ohio’s income tax policy by creating a single flat tax….” 

The success of The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center is the feature of a National Review piece that highlights the ERC’s work in states across the country. Since 2016, Buckeye’s ERC has worked in 12 states saving taxpayers nearly $6 billion.  

In a piece for the Daily Caller, Mississippi Center for Public Policy’s newest fellow, Charles Beauchamp, highlighted the steps we should take to ensure America’s place in the global reserve currency status.  

In Reason, People United for Privacy encourages support for provisions of the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act that would protect nonprofits and their supporters from targeting by the IRS. 

In the Washington Examiner, People United for Privacy Foundation counters the attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas and highlights his history of defending privacy and free speech. 

At RealClearPolicy, the Kansas Policy Institute reviews Kansas’ failed tax reform. 

At Link Media, the Bluegrass Institute’s Jim Waters notes how Kentucky has been starting to make its move to become economically competitive. 

For ETX View, James Madison Institute’s Lindsay Killen laid out Florida’s blueprint for “best-in-class” win for worker freedom. 

At Eastern North Carolina NOW, John Locke Foundation distinguished forbidding adult content for children from banning adult content in recent legislation. 

For NC Spin, John Locke Foundation unpacked the results from a recent poll that found that 55% of likely GOP North Carolina primary voters would support former President Donald Trump. 

For Clarke County Today, Washington Policy Center’s Elizabeth Hovde reviewed the recent loosening of vaccine mandates for public workers in Washington state. 

At the California Globe, the California Policy Center’s Edward Ring notes that California holds the key to water security throughout the Southwest.  

At Econlib, the Center of the American Experiment’s John Phelan made a modest proposal to fix social security.  

In the Vermont Daily Chronicle, the Ethan Allen Institute’s John McClaughry opined on the (un)Affordable Heat bill passed by the Vermont Legislature.  

In the Carolina Journal, John Hood argues that courts do have a role in redistricting.  

In the Johnston County Report, John Hood explores how North Carolina could give nurses more freedom to practice.  

In her column for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Jennifer Stefano notes public sector union employees deserve more power over their leadership. 

In his recent column, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Kyle Wingfield argued Georgia needs to go further, faster on tax reform. 

In Newsweek, the Georgia Center for Opportunity considers the progressive prosecutor  movement. 

In the Washington Examiner, the Kansas Policy Institute considers Ron DeSantis’ push to pass several bills that will moderate how much access online sites have to user data. 

In The Daily Caller, the Pacific Research Institute criticizes California’s planned transition to a carbon-neutral electricity grid by 2045. 

At Townhall, the James Madison Institute reviewed Florida’s 2023 legislative session. 

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Categories: News