State Policy Network
Week in Review: September 15, 2023


Caesar Rodney Institute urged Delaware officials to reevaluate its offshore wind ambitions amidst U.S. offshore wind setbacks. 

Georgia Public Policy Foundation released a new report on minimum lot and home sizes in Georgia at the local level. This extensive report delves into zoning regulations across the state and reveals critical insights into the impact of lot and home size requirements on housing supply and affordability. 

Heart+Mind Strategies hosted a Connections session with Carrie Conko, Dee Allsop, Riaz Patel, and Tami Pyfer to unpack their latest efforts with Undivide US (the documentary film), ConnectEffect, and The Dignity Index, which are projects geared to empower citizens to take accountability for changing the divisiveness, lack of civility, and acrimony present in societal discourse today. 

Liberty Justice Center Senior Counsel Emily Rae and Sonja Shaw, President of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board, were featured on One America News Network to discuss the Attorney General’s “parental notification” lawsuit against the district. Meanwhile, President Jacob Huebert and Senior Counsel Emily Rae were interviewed by the Federalist, to discuss their new case California v. Chino Valley Unified School District. The case also received media attention from sources including the Center Square and National Review

Independent Institute’s Research Fellow David Beito, author of The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights, was interviewed on Matt Kibbe’s Free the People podcast, where he discussed how President F.D. Roosevelt shredded the Bill of Rights during World War II and the Great Depression. 

John Locke Foundation’s Brooke Medina recognized September 11th as an opportunity to teach our children of the necessity of security, the gift of freedom, and the responsibility to fight for both. 

Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy announced their first Encouraging Education Entrepreneurship Conference, an event geared to help expand New Hampshire’s education marketplace so that every family can find the option that works best for every child. 

Mountain States Policy Center unpacked the information found in the recently released Wyoming Department of Education K-12 test scores data with an eye for helping parents evaluate the effectiveness of school options. 

Washington Policy Center’s Elizabeth Hovde published a series of emails with a reporter that was endeavoring to paint her stance against a new payroll tax in Washington state as hypocritical. The exchange serves as a good example of how to work with a potentially hostile reporter. 

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

Goldwater Institute, joined by the Liberty Justice Center, filed an amicus brief with the Nevada Supreme Court to challenge the extreme restrictions on short-term home rentals that the city of Las Vegas has forced on property owners. The Institute also has gone back to court to demand that Arizona bureaucrats obey the law and repay the $80 million in taxes they illegally took via their “transportation excise tax”. 

Liberty Justice Center has stepped in to represent the Chino Valley Unified School District, defending it against the California Attorney General’s “parental notification” lawsuit. The Center has also launched a new case with the Upper Midwest Law Center to defend core political speech in Minnesota

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Wisconsin Election Law on behalf of two Wisconsin voters and the Association of Mature American Citizens, Inc., a membership association with nearly 50,000 Wisconsin members. 

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Success Stories  

Arizona: Over 8,000 professionals have applied for and been granted a license to work in Arizona thanks to the Goldwater Institute-led universal recognition of occupational licenses reform—in fields ranging from medicine to cosmetology to engineering.  

Maine: As the state’s first session of its 131st Legislature comes to a close, there is good news to report in that many proposed tax increases were thwarted, the proposed increases which are now killed included hikes to income, lodging, car rental and estate taxes, to name a few (Maine Policy Institute). 

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Solutions from the States: This Week’s Policy Briefs   

The Buckeye Institute released a new policy report that offers practical recommendations on how states should approach the required Medicaid redetermination process now that the federal Covid-19 public health emergency is over.  

Cardinal Institute released a brief proclaiming the “West Virginia miracle” in remote work innovation, examining organizations doing exciting work connecting West Virginians with not only remote tech jobs but also providing the necessary training to transition into tech. 

Empire Center’s Bill Hammond penned a brief which examined how a federal staffing rule would compound hiring pressure for New York nursing homes. 

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s Keli’i Akina wrote a brief calling for policymakers grappling with rebuilding Lahaina to respect landowners’ constitutional right to freely acquire, use, manage and dispose of their property as they choose. 

John Locke Foundation’s Kaitlyn Shepherd further examined the newly approved policy by the North Carolina State Board of Education in their effort to “exert more authority” over charter school funding. Locke’s Kaitlyn Shepherd dug deeper into findings from recent data showing that NC’s new scholarship program primarily benefits students from low- and moderate-income households who otherwise, may not be able to afford private-school tuition. 

James Madison Institute’s Dr. Edward Longe examined the policy proposed by Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners requiring third-party delivery services to share sensitive consumer information such as names or addresses with restaurants, which would disrupt the city’s food service ecosystem. 

Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Niklas Keinworth argued for policies that champion Bitcoin freedom in the state, showing that this would be a way for the free market to circumvent efforts of tyrannical and centralized control over how money is created, spent, and distributed. 

Mackinac Center released a new report which provides an in-depth look at the occupational licensing laws that impact nearly one million Michigan workers. 

Mountain States Policy Center’s Jason Mercier issued a brief illuminating how government spending is the main cause of property tax increases. He argued that greater transparency is a better way to control these increases instead of efforts to restrict property assessments. 

Pacific Research Institute’s Kerry Jackson examined the proposed legislation that would allow striking workers to draw unemployment benefits in California, showing how this would completely destroy the incentive to work.  

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Policy News from the States 


K-12 Education  

Republican Presidential Candidates on School Choice 
Cardinal Institute 

Montana Charter School Ruling – Four Things to Know 
Mountain States Policy Center 

Kansas Schools Warn Rising Electricity Costs Could Lead to Larger Class Sizes, Fewer Teachers 
Center of the American Experiment 

A Democrat Saved School Choice in Maryland. Can the Same Thing Happen in Pennsylvania? 
Commonwealth Foundation 

Atlanta Rejects High-Quality Charter School for Students with Special Needs 
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 

Education Is the Engine of Freedom Conservatism 
Goldwater Institute 

I Needed School Choice 
Libertas Institute 

Oklahoma School Money Not Flowing to Kids with Challenges 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Highlighting Creativity in Education with Dalena Wallace 
Show-Me Institute 

The System Doesn’t Work for Everyone with James Franko 
Show-Me Institute 

Mandy Drogin on School Choice and Education Funding in Texas  
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Some Legislators Are Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud: “We Don’t Care About Your Choice Kids” 
Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty 

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Energy and Environment  

Anti-Car Group Wants Duluth to Stop Requiring Developers to Build Parking 
Center of the American Experiment 

New Wind Energy Costs Blow the Doors Off Projections 
Empire Center 

Failure of Electric Bus Maker Latest Sign of Trouble in Path to State’s All-EV Future 
Pacific Research Institute 

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American Experiment Urges Biden to Withdraw Proposed Ban on Affordable Health Coverage Options 
Center of the American Experiment 

What DFS Doesn’t Want to Tell You About Soaring Health Premiums 
Empire Center 

Biden’s Latest Assault on Healthcare Freedom 
Goldwater Institute 

Lousy Healthcare for Thee but Not for Me 
Pioneer Institute 

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Housing Affordability 

NIMBYs in Disguise? The Irony with the Environmental Case Against the Minneapolis 2040 Plan 
Center of the American Experiment 

Cities: Let Developers Turn Zombie Malls into Bustling Housing 
Pacific Research Institute 

How State Legislature Can Address Nebraska’s Rising Home Values 
Platte Institute 

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Jobs and State Economies 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Deeper Look at Why People Move 
Center of the American Experiment 

Study Finds That Remote Work Is Allowing People to Move to Cheaper, Rural Areas 
Center of the American Experiment 

Walz Calls on Private Sector Workers to Return to the Office while State Workers Remain at Home 
Center of the American Experiment 

All That’s Lost When Teens Don’t Work 
Commonwealth Foundation 

A Safe Space for Innovation 
Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation 

City Planners Ignore the Importance of ‘Human Capital’ 
Pacific Research Institute 

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State Budgets  

Overregulated Childcare: Wisconsin’s 2023-’25 Biennial Budget and the Path Ahead 
Badger Institute 

$5.5 Billion NYCERS Pension Payments Include $70 Million in Back Pay 
Empire Center 

The Downtown ‘Doom Loop’ 
Indiana Policy Review Foundation 

Kansas Still Swimming in Excess Revenue 
Kansas Policy Institute 

Massachusetts Split Property Tax Rates – Considerations for the Current Economic Climate 
Pioneer Institute 

Erin Valdez on Funding Community Colleges with Outcomes-Based Formulas 
Texas Public Policy Foundation 

Virginia’s “Runaway” Budget Negotiators 
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy 

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Workplace Freedom 

Pushback Against the Union’s Priorities Is Not an Attack on Teachers 
Center of the American Experiment 

Teachers’ Unions Are Selling a Big Lie 
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs 

Union Contracts Trample Louisiana Public School Teachers’ and Employees’ Rights 
Pelican Institute for Public Policy 

The Chicago Teachers Union’s Hypocrisy 
Illinois Policy 

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World War II Roundtable: Learn American History from Its Heroes 
Center of the American Experiment 

Remember September 11th 
Mississippi Center for Public Policy 

‘No Greater Love’: The Medal of Honor in Afghanistan 
Yankee Institute 

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The Network in the News 

In the Dayton Daily News, The Buckeye Institute’s Logan Kolas makes the case for a state-based visa program that enables Ohio and other states to attract the legal workers they desperately need.  

In The OC Register, the California Policy Center’s Lance Christensen notes California’s proposed striker bailout is a fiscal disaster. 

At Penn Live, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Nate Benefield considers how blue states can replicate Maryland’s school choice victory.  

In her recent column for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Commonwealth Foundation’s Jennifer Stefano considers all that’s lost when teens don’t work. 

In the Daily Record, the Garden State Initative’s Danielle Zanzalari considers solutions to New Jersey’s nurse practitioner shortage.  

In his recent column, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Kyle Wingfield highlights the Atlanta school board’s rejection of a high-quality charter school.  

At Townhall, the Goldwater Institute notes education is the engine of freedom conservatism. 

At The Telegraph, Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Scott Yenor and Alli Megal examined how California’s education policies are hurting children’s education and posited that this is the reason Americans are fleeing the state. 

In the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Policy Institute’s Paul Vallas considers how Illinois can respond to the migrant crisis before it overwhelms  Chicago’s communities. 

At Crain’s Chicago Business, Illinois Policy Institute’s Austin Berg and Ed Bachrach, along with SPN’s Jane McEnaney, note it’s time for Chicago to have a charter. 

In his recent column for The Denver Gazette, the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara considers the effort to keep Trump off the ballot in Colorado. 

In The American Spectator, Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley outlined the failures (now admitted to) during the COVID-19 pandemic by California’s Governor. 

In The Wall Street Journal, Independent Institute’s John C. Goodman pointed out how, with its high deductibles, Obamacare is anything but affordable. 

In The American Spectator, Independent Institute’s Lloyd Billingsley opined on Governor Newsom’s attempt to subvert the Second Amendment by suggesting a different Constitutional amendment. 

In the Carolina Journal, the John Locke Foundation’s Donald Bryson discussed the threats to liberty after the horrific events on 9/11, expressing the need to “remain vigilant in protecting our civil liberties and reaffirming our commitment to economic freedom.” 

In the Washington Examiner, the Mackinac Center’s Jarrett Skorup notes right-to-work was key to pandemic recovery. 

In National Review, the Mackinac Center’s Steve Delie writes about the UAW strike. He was also quoted in USA Today and joined Laura Coates Live on CNN. 

In his column for The Journal Record, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs‘ Jonathan Small highlights a shocking new literacy report on Oklahoma.  

In the Washington Examiner, the Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes notes pharmacy benefit manager reform must remain a priority for Congress. 

At RealClearEducation, the Pacific Research Institute’s Lance Izumi highlights a new poll that shows voters see room for improvement in school boards.  

In the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Rio Grande Foundation’s Paul Gessing considers how to reform New Mexico’s education system.  

In a Letter to the Editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Show-Me Institute’s David Stokes notes high inflation shouldn’t be an excuse to hammer taxpayers with large tax hikes. 

In The Standard Republican, the Thomas Jefferson Institute’s Steve Haner points out tax reductions under Youngkin have been significant. 

In the Everett Herald, Washington Policy Center’s Donald Kimball writes about how the school choice movement can help put pressure on public schools to be more responsive to parent and student needs. 

In his recent column, John Hood considers the state of North Carolina’s economy. 

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Categories: News