State Policy Network
Week in Review: November 17, 2023


Alaska Policy Forum announced that Bernadette Wilson will take the reins as the Forum’s interim executive director. 

California Policy Center announced that Former state SenatorJohn Moorlachhas joined the Center as senior fellow and director of its Center for Public Accountability. 

Free State Foundation’s Randolph May released a statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of its Digital Discrimination order, calling it “the most far-reaching unauthorized power grab in the history of the agency.” 

Future of Freedom podcast hosted an episode with special guest Tony Woodlief, Executive Vice President at the State Policy Network, who spoke about what it means to be nonpartisan, how to get voters focused on local issues, and why the restoration of individual rights and local governance is a key to conservatism’s future.  

John Locke Foundation released another episode of their Policy Pizza series this week discussing election security. Be sure to subscribe to Locke’s YouTube channel for new episodes every Saturday this fall. 

Maine Policy Institute announced that its Dec. 7 2023 Freedom & Opportunity Reception will feature Dr. Corey DeAngelis, Senior Fellow at the American Federation for Children. 

Mississippi Center for Public Policy hosted Education Freedom, an event that brought together leading advocates for education freedom, including Corey DeAngelis, and representatives of PragerU and ACE Scholarships. 

Mountain States Policy Center released an enlightening one-on-one with Idaho’s State Broadband Office Manager and announced that its article covering the potential merger between Albertsons and Kroger has been printed in over 30 newspapers around the country. 

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty released Tidal Wave: Exploring the Ripple of Ending School Choice in Wisconsin, a new report that examines the practical implications of ending school choice in Wisconsin. 

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

The Buckeye Institute joined the American Civil Rights Project and the Manhattan Institute on a brief in American Alliance for Equal Rights v. Fearless Fund, calling on the court to bar racially discriminatory contracting practices. Numerous courts, the United States Congress, and the U.S. Constitution all make it clear that racial discrimination in contracting is illegal. Buckeye also argued in a brief filed in Yim v. Seattle that Seattle’s Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which forbids landlords from considering applicants’ criminal histories—even violent ones—violates the privileges or immunities clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. 

Goldwater Institute announced that it joined with their friends at the Freedom Foundation to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up five cases of victims of public-sector union forgery schemes.

Liberty Justice Center filed a letter urging the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee to reject a proposed amendment that could chill attorneys’ free speech. The Center also filed an amicus brief urging the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reject a petition that would dismantle the nation’s oldest school choice program. Analyzing data compiled by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, the Center’s amicus brief argues that the petition would create an undue burden on Wisconsin schools, students, and families. 

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty also filed an amicus brief and a motion to intervene in the above lawsuit which seeks to overturn Wisconsin’s widely popular and successful school choice program.  

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Success Stories  

California: Freedom Foundation attorneys successfully freed another California public employee, Tom Purciel, from a union’s unconstitutional deductions from his lawfully earned wages. 

Louisiana: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Louisiana must stop forcing New Orleans attorney Randy Boudreaux to pay mandatory bar association dues as a condition of practicing law – a major court victory for freedom of speech and association (Pelican Institute and Goldwater Institute). 

Wisconsin: In a significant victory for parental rights and transparency, the Wrightstown Community School District notified the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that they will follow state law and held committee meetings so the community of Wrightstown could review the Human Growth and Development curriculum. 

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs   

Alaska Policy Forum’s Sarah Montalbano issued a brief examining research which suggests that the way financial resources are allocated is more important than the amount of money invested. 

Cesar Rodney Institute’s Charlie Copeland penned a brief examining the policies driving migration patterns in Delaware. 

Cardinal Institute’s Amanda Kieffer authored a brief examining collateral consequences from a few public policies in place in West Virginia. 

Frontier Institute’s Trish Schreiber released a brief giving readers a glimpse into a choice school in the making. 

Georgia Center for Opportunity’s David Bass released a brief examining Missouri’s recently enacted policy addressing the pervasive issue of benefits cliffs, where individuals and families face a sudden loss of government assistance as their income increases.  

Independence Institute’s Ross Izard penned a brief discussing the need for a system to provide vital help to foster and kinship Colorado students in out-of-home care. 

Indiana Policy Review Foundation’s Richard McGowan wrote a brief diving into the data showing disparities between men and women in a variety of undergraduate study areas, noting that state legislators should look at the totality of the data before creating policies to address a particular field. 

John Locke Foundation’s Jon Sanders examined ways of assessing the reliability of North Carolina’s different electricity generation sources. Meanwhile, Jim Stirling of Locke’s Civitas Center for Public Integrity analyzed the attempts by both political parties to divide several of North Carolina’s major cities in the congressional redistricting process last month. Finally, as Americans gear up for Thanksgiving next week, Bethany Torstenson provided insights on key Thanksgiving feast essentials that will see a price hike this year. 

Libertas Institute’s Caden Rosenbaum and Pablo Garcia Quint issued a brief charting a path for moving past artificial intelligence’s (AI’s) regulatory conundrum. 

Show-Me Institute’s Avery Frank penned a brief examining how some states are making large reading gains post-pandemic and the policies driving these gains. 

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Tracking Positive Reforms: Updates from Network Affiliates   

Ohio: The Ohio House State and Local Government Committee adopted 20 of The Buckeye Institute’s recommendations to eliminate and reduce burdensome occupational licensing requirements. If the entire General Assembly embraces these recommendations, more barriers to work will be removed, making it easier to earn a living in Ohio. 

South Carolina: A regulation which would prevent school boards from removing material from a school library simply because the board may disagree with viewpoints expressed in the material and would establish a system for reviewing library materials was passed by the State Board of Education – welcome news from the Palmetto State. A second reading of the regulation by the state board is scheduled for February 2024 after which it will be submitted to the General Assembly for approval (Palmetto Promise). 

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Policy News from the States 


K-12 Education  

Oklahoma’s Education Tax Credit Puts Families First 
Cascade Policy Institute 

Minnesota Ranks Close to Bottom for Education Freedom 
Center of the American Experiment 

There Is Wisdom in the Past 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

Arizona Ranks 1st in Education Choice in Back-to-Back Years
Goldwater Institute

Oklahoma School-Choice Law Hailed as National Model 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

The Gaslighting of South Carolina Parents 
Palmetto Promise Institute 

Illinois Backslides on Education 
Illinois Policy 

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Energy and Environment  

The EV Short Circuit: What Is California Going to Do? 
Pacific Research Institute 

Cooperation, Not Lawsuits, Is the Answer to Nitrogen on the Central Coast 
Pacific Research Institute 

KRQE Covers EIB Hearings and Quotes RGF 
Rio Grande Foundation 

Winter is Coming, and We’re Losing Reliable Power 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Science Shows that Lands Commissioner’s Strategy on Climate and Forests Will Actually Accelerate Climate Change 
Washington Policy Center 

Environmentalists New Tax Scheme…Your Heating Fuel is Now on Their Hit List 
Yankee Institute 

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Housing Affordability 

YIGBY Law Would Be “Dream Situation” for Hawaii Housing 
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii 

Building Permit Delays Are Fixed through Bureaucratic Fiscal Penalties 
Mountain States Policy Center 

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Jobs and State Economies 

If You Didn’t Get a Pay Rise of at Least 3.2% in the Last Year, You Got a Pay Cut 
Center of the American Experiment 

Michigan Growth Officer Wrong on Taxes and Growth 
Mackinac Center 

Purchasing Power Has Declined 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Minimum Wage Initiative Passing in Bellingham 
Washington Policy Center

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State Budgets  

Local Governments Cash in on Federally Subsidized EVs 
Center of the American Experiment 

RGF Comments in KOAT Channel 7 Story about Mayor Keller’s City-Financed Book 
Rio Grande Foundation 

Austin’s Project Connect is a Train Wreck 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Fast Facts: Austin’s Debt 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

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Workplace Freedom 

Records Confirm Rumors of Personnel Turmoil at WFSE 
Freedom Foundation 

Cuny’s Union-Supported Antisemitism Problem 
Freedom Foundation 

Miami-Dade Teachers’ Union Increasingly Desperate, Offering Gift Cards to Boost Membership 
Freedom Foundation 

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Why Work Matters 
Cardinal Institute 

Veterans Day: Honoring Service Too Few Will Ever Understand 
Freedom Foundation 

Personal Stories and Lessons for Veterans Day 
Pacific Research Institute 

Why ‘Chevron Deference’ Raises Serious Concerns About the Separation of Powers 
Sutherland Institute 

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The Network in the News 

In The OC Register, the California Policy Center’s Chris LaBella criticizes the voting record of California lawmaker Mia Bonta.  

In the Portland Tribune, the Cascade Policy Institute’s John A. Charles Jr. notes taxpayers have been generous to Portland schools. 

At Broad + Liberty, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Erik Telford opines on how Pennsylvania exports bad political leadership. 

In The Maui News, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s Jonathan Helton notes Maui can take lead in ‘Yes in God’s backyard’ housing. 

In his recent column for The Denver Gazette, the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara considers what’s in store during Colorado’s special legislative session that was just called by Governor Polis.  

In The American Spectator, the Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley opined on San Francisco’s “Clean for Xi, but not for thee” policy. 

In American Institute for Economic Research, Independent Institute’s Phillip W. Magness examined how college history textbooks spread misinformation about the Great Depression. 

In The County Press, the Mackinac Center’s Dr. Theodore Bolema and Jarrett Skorup note Michigan’s broadband plan won’t help rural communities. 

At Restoring America, the Mackinac Center’s Brent Skorup & Jarrett Skorup examine the constitutional effects of a zoning dispute currently before the Michigan Supreme Court. 

At Crane’s Detroit Business, the Mackinac Center’s James M. Hohman calls for lawmakers to reconsider their selective business subsidy programs in light of their clear lack of success. 

In the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Policy Institute’s Paul Vallas notes Chicago could create its own Invest in Kids scholarship program. 

In the Washington Examiner, the Mackinac Center’s Jarrett Skorup notes a little-known Michigan court case could have massive constitutional effects across the nation. 

In his recent column, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs‘ Jonathan Small points out private school critics ignore reality. 

In The Center Square, the Pelican Institute’s Daniel Erspamer highlights a California lawsuit that could have disastrous consequences for Louisiana. 

In The Deseret News, Sutherland Institute’s William Duncan explains why ‘Chevron deference’ raises serious concerns about the separation of powers. 

In The Spokesman-Review, the Washington Policy Center’s Charles Prestrud notes WSDOT’s new highway plan embraces traffic congestion. 

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Categories: News