State Policy Network
Week in Review: July 23, 2021


This Week on

Spotlight on legislative sessions: The Network encourages states to adopt criminal justice reforms to improve lives and communities

The Network helps more than two million small businesses reopen without the fear of frivolous coronavirus lawsuits

Georgia protects learning pods for thousands of students and their families

Success Stories

Solutions from the states: This week’s policy briefs

Fixing California: The Complete Series
In this nine-part series, Edward Ring, a contributing editor for the California Policy Center, tackles California’s greatest challenges and opportunities, laying out solutions that will ensure its residents have the resources they need to prosper for generations to come.

When Stopping COVID Mattered Most, Washington State Officials Failed Badly
Now that Washington state became the second to last state to finally reopen, Washington Policy Center’s Director for the Center of Environment, Todd Myers, cites Washington State’s COVID-19 restrictions as a source of an increase in deaths beyond those created by the illness. Myers points to the fact that while regulations such as mask mandates, testing, and lockdowns aided in the containment of the coronavirus, they were not nearly as effective as some claim; meanwhile, other jurisdictions with fewer restrictions had lower per-capita mortality rates. Moreover, a pattern of failures—from a collapsed tracing program to a disappointing vaccine rollout—has proven that “more responsibility and faith should be in the hands of the people of Washington State,” as they have borne the burdens of political mismanagement.

Lower Taxes, Better Texas
The Texas Public Policy Foundation released a new bold plan to address the problem of having one of the highest property tax burdens in the country so that Texans can own more of their home and future. This approach would lower property taxes for all Texans by nearly half either immediately or over time to effectively lower property tax bills, which more than 70 percent of Texans said they want in a recent TPPF poll.

Fund Every Kid: Reforming Wisconsin’s School Funding Formula
For too long, the value of Wisconsin students have been determined by a complex school funding formula that filters money to buildings and systems. Students are simply worth more, or less, depending on where they happen to live or what type of school they attend. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty published a new report that provides an overview of the current school finance system and proposes the adoption of a dynamic student-centered funding system.

Policy news from the states

Criminal Justice Reform

The Equal Act Would Close Crack, Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
Empower Mississippi

Keeping the Peace Through Intensive Community Policing
John Locke Foundation


Identify and Individualize: How to Catch Struggling Readers Early
Alaska Policy Forum

More About Problems With Reading Instruction
Bluegrass Institute

Teaching Reading: Thank God For Mississippi’s Approach
Bluegrass Institute

The Reading Instruction Failure Is A Real Pandemic!
Bluegrass Institute

Fixing California- Part Eight: Restoring Quality Education
California Policy Center

Concentrating Resources on Failing Systems Instead of Students
Commonwealth Foundation

Mississippi the Largest Decline in Enrollment in the Fall of 2020
Empower Mississippi

Missouri And New Hampshire School Choice Programs
Ethan Allen Institute

$74,000 to Find out What Your Child is Learning?!?
Goldwater Institute

Biden’s Preschool Plan Replaces The Beneficial Effects Of Parenting With Government Intervention
Idaho Freedom Foundation

School Boards Resisting Transparency?
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

New Study Dispels Special Ed Funding Myth About Charter Schools
Pacific Research Institute

More Money, Fewer Students
Palmetto Promise Institute

Debunking The Myths Surrounding Fiscal Transparency For School Districts
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Are Missouri Schools Being Honest About What They’re Teaching?
Show-Me Institute

HB 349 Creates Opportunity (For Some)
Show-Me Institute

Report Calls Utah Civics, History Standards ‘Mediocre’ – Despite Their Strengths – Compared With Other States
Sutherland Institute


Georgia’s Healthcare Competitiveness Hobbled By Certificate Of Need
Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Housing Affordability

Portland’s Housing Affordability Debacle
Cascade Policy Institute

Why Exactly Is The Rent Too D*** High?
Ethan Allen Institute

Free the Adus
Frontier Institute

Housing Must Keep Up With Job Growth
John Locke Foundation

State’s Housing Shortage Has Driven Rents Up 24% In Five Years
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

While The Market Drives Up Wages, Government Prevents It From Providing More Housing
Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

New Model for Building Permits Shows a Bright Future
Libertas Institute

Jobs and State Economies

2,000 CA Jobs Headed To Florida’s Walt Disney World
California Policy Center

Fixing California- Part Nine: The Prosperity Economy
California Policy Center

Ratepayers Are Struggling To Pay Their Utility Bills And Kate Brown Doesn’t Care
Cascade Policy Institute

Why Minnesota’s Film Tax Credits Are A Waste Of Taxpayers’ Money
Center of the American Experiment

Books And Brews: How The Ui Bonus Impacted One Wv Business
Foundation for Government Accountability

Black Workers Suffer Most From Illinois’ Slow Recovery From Covid-19
Illinois Policy Institute

Mark Robinson Is Right To Focus On The Dignity Of Work
John Locke Foundation

Kansas Lost 4,000 Private Jobs, Added 8,500 Gov’t. Jobs In 2Q
Kansas Policy Institute

You Shouldn’t Need a License to Work as a Property Manager
Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Mississippi’s Path To Economic Recovery After Covid-19
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Free Market Growth Is The Best Path To Community Development
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Employment Trends In The Greater Boston Area And Touristy Massachusetts Counties During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Pioneer Institute

Connecticut Manufacturer Faces Difficulty In Hiring As Extended Unemployment Benefits Disrupt Job Market
Yankee Institute for Public Policy

State Budgets and Spending

Census Bureau Survey Shows Individuals Increasingly Saved Their Stimulus Payments 
Center of the American Experiment

Capital Gains Income Tax Lawsuit Gets Its First Day In Court
Freedom Foundation

Illinois Infrastructure Ranks High, But State Finances Pose Big Threat
Illinois Policy Institute

Why North Carolina Needs a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, in One Chart
John Locke Foundation

Billions To Spend With Limited Guidance
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Oklahoma Revenue Numbers Encouraging, But Pro-Growth Reforms Still Needed
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

UW Tax Law Professor on new capital gains income tax: “It’s going to be found unconstitutional”
Washington Policy Center

Workplace Freedom

The Threats Against Right-To-Work Are Very Real
Beacon Center of Tennessee

Supreme Court Should Protect Workers Locked in to Paying Union Dues
Goldwater Institute


Fixing California – Part Seven: Forest Management
California Policy Center

Improve Your Life With A Growth Mindset
Georgia Center for Opportunity

Lockdowns Lower The Bar For Rule Of Law
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Why Reform Of Hawaii’s Emergency Powers Law Failed
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Coalitions Critical If We Hope To Reform The Jones Act
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Facial Recognition Is Terrifying, Even (Especially) When It Works
Libertas Institute

Tech Advancements Bring Promise Of Strengthened Supply Chain
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

TPPF: Election Reform Expands Access and Makes Voting Secure
Texas Public Policy Foundation

Think tanks in the news

Ranked-Choice Voting Is Not That Simple
Alaska Policy Forum in Must Read Alaska

Let’s Grow Kids, Or Government?
Ethan Allen Institute in the Rutland Herald

As Medicaid Expansion Looms, Remember the Alamo
Foundation for Government Accountability in RealClearPolicy

Georgia Tax Revenue Returns Reflect ‘Remarkable’ Rebound From Pandemic Recession
Georgia Public Policy Foundation in the Savannah Morning News

Pumping The Brakes On State Spending, New Projects
Georgia Public Policy Foundation in the Daily Citizen-News

Poor Are Sold Only The Dream Of A Home
Independence Institute in The Gazette

We Need More And Better Policing
John Locke Foundation in the Independent Tribune

States Use Tax Incentives To Lure Companies. Bipartisan Support Is Growing To Stop It.
Mackinac Center in The Washington Post

Don’t Let The Rule Of Law Become A Victim Of COVID-19
Mackinac Center in The Hill

Hospitals Prices Show Need For Transparency
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in the Skiatook Journal

FDA Foot-Dragging On Vaccines Is Unfortunately No Surprise
Pacific Research Institute in Forbes

Hollywood Moves East
Rio Grande Foundation on Fox Business

Heinrich Coming For Your Gas Heater, Stove
Rio Grande Foundation in the Albuquerque Journal

Wonder Where Your Food Comes From? Ask A Washington Farmer
Washington Policy Center in The Seattle Times

Events and opportunities

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

Organization: State Policy Network