State Policy Network
Week in Review: May 19, 2023


Alaska Policy Forum’s Carmela Warfield testified before the Alaska Senate Education Committee about financial literacy in schools. 

The Buckeye Institute joined a recent Friday Forum hosted by the City Club of Cleveland to discuss the impact of the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act, which would strengthen First Amendment rights and reshape Ohio’s higher education system to meet the needs of the 21st century.  

In legislative testimony on Ohio’s biennial budget, The Buckeye Institute urged the Ohio Senate to take this “golden opportunity to enact overdue, comprehensive tax reforms and join a flat-tax revolution.” 

The Buckeye Institute joined the PRI Next Round podcast to discuss Buckeye’s report showing how much more Californians and Ohioans could pay for electricity if the Biden Administration’s Clean Power Plan takes effect and how it would subject the rest of the country to the type of green energy mandates that Californians have been struggling to afford for years. 

Cardinal Institute recognized West Virginia’s 160th anniversary of statehood by highlighting all the positive policy changes that have been enacted in the state in the last decade.

Commonwealth Foundation kicked off an advocacy campaign to generate support for bipartisan initiatives that align with the Foundation’s vision for a better Pennsylvania. This includes expanding policies such as the “lifeline scholarship” for children trapped in the bottom 15% of worst performing schools, education improvement tax credits, telehealth, and more. 

Empire Center’s Senior Fellow for Health Policy Bill Hammond testified before the Congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sharing his expertise on nursing home mortality rates during COVID-19. 

Foundation for Government Accountability’s Center for Excellence in Polling surveyed likely voters in Ohio on important issues in the state, including elections, crime, and ESG criteria in investing.  

Independence Institute created a video series unpacking the property tax issue in Colorado. The two most recent videos discuss the property tax increase that the Legislature referred to the ballot last week.  

The James Madison Institute released its 2022 Annual Report which marked the progress towards greater liberty that Florida has made in the past year. 

Maine Policy Institute provided testimony opposing costly offshore wind developments, fighting death and income tax increases, advocating for reforming energy policy to lower prices and protect consumers, and more. 

Rio Grande Foundation announced its “Albuquerque’s Homelessness Crisis” luncheon, featuring speaker Judge Glock, Senior Fellow at the Cicero Institute. 

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

Empire Center and New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation sued the New York Attorney General over ongoing First Amendment violations at the Office of the Attorney General connected to confidential charitable donor records.   

Freedom Foundation provided oral arguments to the Washington Supreme Court in an ongoing attempt to receive basic contact information about Washington state employees for the purpose of communicating with them about their workplace representation rights. 

Goldwater Institute and several allied groups filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the judges to uphold the rights of two public school employees whose First Amendment rights were violated when they were mandated to participate in and endorse an “anti-racism” training. 

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Success Stories 

Alabama: Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation protecting the privacy of nonprofit donors into law. The bill passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously (People United for Privacy Foundation). 

Arizona: Legislators enacted a landmark veterinary telemedicine law to allow pet owners access to high-quality virtual care from home. This reform, passed with broad bipartisan support, will greatly increase access to veterinary care in rural areas and is an ideal model for other states (Goldwater Institute). 

Arizona: In a win for free speech, the State of Arizona has dropped all charges against a former Arizona State University student who was arrested and convicted of trespassing for distributing copies of the US Constitution to his fellow students on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus in March 2022(Liberty Justice Center). 

Indiana: Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation protecting the privacy of nonprofit donors into law. The bill has now passed in 17 states, including three this year (People United for Privacy Foundation). 

New Jersey: Unrelenting outreach efforts in New Jersey over the past few months continue to produce record numbers of union opt-outs with no end in sight (Freedom Foundation). 

Tennessee: The Governor signed legislation that provides paycheck protections for teachers and secures state public sector workers’ right to decide union representation through private-ballot elections into law, making Tennessee the latest state to protect workers’ rights (Mackinac Center’s Workers for Opportunity and Beacon Center). 

Texas: A Texas school district has retreated from its original mandate requiring a Texas mom to pay $1267.50 in fees to access the school district’s reading list (Goldwater Institute). 

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs  

Empire Center released a brief that analyzed how New York State’s effort to pour unprecedented amounts of state funds into local school districts has not translated into widespread property tax relief.  

Foundation for Government Accountability released a paper revealing how universal work requirements for welfare programs are a win for all involved. 

Frontier Institute released an analysis outlining concerns for potential misuses of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare. 

Georgia Public Policy Foundation released a study exposing how CON laws do not help underserved populations. 

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii released a new policy brief challenging the belief that imposing an “empty homes” tax will alleviate the state’s ongoing housing availability and affordability crisis. 

Institute for Reforming Government developed a playbook for income tax relief that would provide historic tax relief for middle class families and small businesses, even in divided government. 

John Locke Foundation analyzed the North Carolina Senate’s budget proposal, which emphasizes income tax cuts, workforce training, and new reserves. 

Pioneer Institute released a study which found that net out-migration of wealth from Massachusetts nearly quintupled from 2012-2021 and urged state leaders to focus on tax reform in areas where state tax policies are most onerous. 

Sutherland Institute published a visual which aims to give parents a bird’s-eye view of the education options available to parents. 

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Tracking Positive Reforms in the States: Updates from Network Affiliates 

Louisiana: The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a school choice bill that sends a strong message that Louisiana is ready to advance education freedom for families (Pelican Institute). 

Oklahoma: After weeks of negotiations, the Oklahoma Governor and legislative leaders announced they have reached an agreement on a public-school funding plan that also clears the way for enactment of a major expansion of school choice in Oklahoma (Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs). 

Texas: Legislators passed a bill which seeks to establish regulatory consistency across the state by precluding municipalities and counties from adopting or enforcing excessive and inconsistent regulations, thus freeing up business growth (Texas Public Policy Foundation). 

Wisconsin: The Legislature’s budget writing committee took action to raise pay for prosecutors and public defenders, “a vital down payment toward more effective and swift justice” (Badger Institute). 

Wisconsin: The Senate Universities and Revenue Committee approved a bill which eliminates the personal property tax, a tax levied against certain business property, in a bipartisan vote (Institute for Reforming Government). 

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Policy News from the States 

K-12 Education  

A Success Story at an Orange County Charter 
California Policy Center 

With Enrollment Declines, Public Schools Are Competing for Fewer Students. Incentive Or Demise? 
Center of the American Experiment 

NY School Spending Again Led US, Hitting All-Time High in 2020-21 
Empire Center 

Unraveling the School Levy Narratives 
Idaho Freedom Foundation 

Top 3 Takeaways from Hybrid Schools Conference 
Libertas Institute 

Confusing the Public for Fun and Profit 
Nevada Policy Research Institute 

Why Homeschoolers Deserve School Choice 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Yes, Even Teachers Like School Choice 
Show-Me Institute 

Voters Reject Five Out of Five Local School Bond Measures 
Washington Policy Center 


Health Sector Must Unite to Prevent Legislative Malpractice 
Center of the American Experiment 

Time to Reconsider Idaho’s Involvement in Medicaid 
Idaho Freedom Foundation 

Energy and Environment  

Challenging the Premise of our Destruction 
California Policy Center 

California Holds the Key to Western Water Security 
California Policy Center 

Xcel Energy’s Iron Air Battery in Becker Will ‘Hopefully’ Cost $20 Million, Deliver 0.45% Of the Coal Plant’s Power Output 
Center of the American Experiment 

Joe Biden Blackouts: EPA Releases Rules Designed to Shut Down Coal-Fired Power Plants 
Center of the American Experiment 

The Death of a Wind Farm 
Center of the American Experiment 

Battle Looms Among NY Pols Over High Cost of Green Energy Plans 
Empire Center 

Colorado’s Energy Future: The High Cost of 100% Renewable Electricity by 2024 
Independence Institute 

Offshore Wind Turbines Severely Interfere with Marine Vessel Radar and Endanger Mariners 
John Locke Foundation 

Energy Reality Coming at California Fast 
Pacific Research Institute 

Eco-Insanity: The Symptoms and the Cure 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Jobs and State Economies 

The Rise of Zombie Cities 
California Policy Center 

Debunking Some New Excuses for Minnesota’s Loss of Residents 
Center of the American Experiment 

Fighting the Fed’s Digital Dollar – A Free Market Solution 
Idaho Freedom Foundation 

85% of Illinois Communities Lose People in 2022; Chicago Loses 33K 
Illinois Policy Institute 

“Woke” Investing Hurts Small Farms 
John Locke Foundation 

The Unfortunate Rise of “Lunkhead Economics” in Nevada 
Nevada Policy Research Institute 

Redevelopment Failed Cities, but Keeps Trying for a Comeback 
Pacific Research Institute 

Louisiana: At the Bottom of Yet Another Economic List 
Pelican Institute 

State Budgets  

New Iowa Law Provides Model for Nebraska to Reform Local Bond Elections 
Platte Institute  

Mindfully Wasteful Spending: The Definition of Broadband 
Free State Foundation 

Historical Alaska Spending 
Alaska Policy Forum 

Newsom Wisely Avoids California Transit Bailout in May Budget Revise 
California Policy Center 

About that $18 Billion Surplus in Minnesota… 
Center of the American Experiment 

After Budget Binge, Albany’s Hangover May Be Arriving 
Empire Center 

Illinois State Revenue Projections Cut by $800 Million after Much Weaker Tax Day 
Illinois Policy Institute 

Illinois’ Revenue Volatility Among Highest in US, Threatens Budget Stability 
Illinois Policy Institute 

Where Are Iowa Cities Spending Property Taxes? 
Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation 

North Carolina Pork Wish Lists Thus Budget Season Revealed 
John Locke Foundation 

2022 Kansas Payrolls: $2.36 Billion 
Kansas Policy Institute 

Six Things to Know About the Milwaukee Bailout and Shared Revenue Bill Racing Through the Legislature 
MacIver Institute 

Coalition Calls for Responsible Budget, Tax Relief in Louisiana 
Pelican Institute 

WPC’s Tax Transparency Website Proposal a Step Closer to Reality 
Washington Policy Center 

Communists, Big Labor & Other Groups will Rally to Demand ‘Moral Budget’ 
Yankee Institute 

Workplace Freedom 

Defying The Machine: Seattle Mechanic Triumphs in Battle for Union Freedom 
Freedom Foundation 

Chicago Public Schools Principals File Petition to Unionize 
Illinois Policy Institute 

Florida Sets the State for Labor Reforms 
Mackinac Center 

Paycheck Piracy? Louisiana’s Public Employees Deserve Protection 
Pelican Institute 


Minnesota Much Prioritize Cybersecurity after Recent Attacks 
Center of the American Experiment 

The Separation of Powers is Working in Georgia 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

The Session of the Century in Florida 
James Madison Institute 

Protecting North Carolinians from Asset Forfeiture Abuse 
John Locke Foundation 

Does AI Spell the End of Democracy? 
John Locke Foundation 

“Mr. Mayor, Tear Down This House!” 
Show-Me Institute 

Policymakers Should Meet Families Where They Are 
Sutherland Institute 

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The Network in the News 

In The Orange County Register, The Buckeye Institute and Pacific Research Institute expose the harm that the Biden Administration’s new Clean Power Plan would have on California, Ohio, and the rest of the country. 

In Crain’s Cleveland Business, The Buckeye Institute calls for Ohio to join the “flat-tax revolution.”  

At RealClearPolicy, Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation notes Iowa is at the forefront of conservative budgeting. 

In The Daily Caller, Center for the American Experiment outlines New York’s ill-advised energy policies. 

In The Washington Times, the Foundation for Government Accountability notes work requirements for welfare work. 

In National Review, Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation highlights Iowa’s historic chance to eliminate its income tax. 

In his recent column, John Hood criticizes the modern impulse to label an opponent’s views as “extreme.” 

In the Washington Examiner, the Pacific Research Institute questions why Medicaid is still treating COVID-19 as a public health emergency. 

In The Daily Caller, the Texas Public Policy Foundation argues Americans are becoming too ignorant to be free. 

In The American Spectator, the Commonwealth Foundation considers the push for union mandates in Pennsylvania’s legislative session. 

At National Review, the Illinois Policy Institute outlines how Democratic cities can win back residents. 

In The Daily Caller, the Texas Public Policy Foundation discusses the debt ceiling. 

In the Star Tribune, the Center of the American Experiment notes the health sector must unite to prevent legislative malpractice. 

At National Review, the Garden State Initiative notes Biden’s new vehicle-emissions rules need rethinking. 

In the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Policy Institute notes making Chicago safer and more affordable must be Brandon Johnson’s primary goal. 

In his recent column, the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara criticized Governor Jared Polis’ policies. 

In The Daily Caller, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy considers what will happen to the middle class if the dollar loses its reserve status. 

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Categories: News