- The Georgia Center for Opportunity welcomed Jace Brooks as Director of the Gwinnett Workforce Initiative. The Gwinnett Workforce Initiative is part of GCO’s Hiring Well, Doing Good, a broader effort to link underserved communities with the resources they need to thrive.
- The Pioneer Institute announced the appointment of Adam Portnoy as Chair of its Board of Directors.
- The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in California v. Texas, a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Brought forth by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and attorneys general from 20 other states, the case concerns the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate. Learn more about the case here.
- The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty hired Kyle Koenen as its new policy director. Koenen brings extensive legislative experience to WILL, most recently as Chief of Staff for State Senator Chris Kapenga.
This week on SPN.org
Solutions from the states: This week’s policy briefs
A History of Alaska Oil Taxes and How They Work
Alaska Policy Forum
Protect Direct Primary Care: To Increase Access to and Quality of Health Care while Reducing Costs
Alaska Policy Forum
Evaluating ESAs in the Volunteer State
Beacon Center of Tennessee
Collective bargaining transparency: A win for workers and taxpayers
Better Cities Project
School Reserve Funds in Pandemic Times
Liberty Action Agenda
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Sources Say A Career in Journalism Is a Coin Flip.
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Virtual Education in Texas
Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Georgia announced it would take advantage of Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act, which allows states to ask the federal government to waive burdensome requirements of the law. The federal government approved Georgia’s Section 1332 waiver request. The Georgia Center for Opportunity and Georgia Public Policy Foundation noted the announcement gives hope to many Georgians suffering from the unintended consequences of the ACA.
- The Mackinac Center applauded a legislative package to reform occupational licensing requirements for all military members, their families, and veterans in Michigan. Mackinac noted these changes will expand opportunities for these individuals to work and thrive in Michigan.
Policy news from the states
- The Alabama Policy Institute noted the Supreme Court will not pick the president, but it could have a role.
- The Alabama Policy Institute noted that as citizens, we must expect less from government and more from ourselves.
- California Policy Center pointed out early returns from the November 2020 ballot show Californians approved the vast majority of new local taxes and borrowing.
- California Policy Center considered if the Prop 15 victory will survive the ballot harvest. Californians rejected the measure, which would levy a massive property tax increase on California employers.
- Civitas Institute explained what North Carolina’s election results mean for education.
- Civitas Institute pointed out the Tillis-Cunningham Senate race is the most expensive Senate race ever.
- Civitas Institute argued conservatism in North Carolina is on the ascent.
- Civitas Institute considered the media coverage of the 2020 election.
- The Ethan Allen Institute launched a new survey asking Vermonters if mass mail balloting should become permanent.
- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation considered why Georgia’s ballot count was such a mess.
- The Goldwater Institute noted socialism lost in the 2020 elections.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii noted its up to Hawaii’s citizens to work together with policymakers—regardless of political party—and embrace the ideas and policies that will help the state thrive once more.
- The Pacific Research Institute considered a surprising election result: Californians voted down an initiative that would have returned racial preferences to state college admissions, hiring, and contracting.
- On Hubwonk, the Pioneer Institute discussed the polling industry’s failure to reliably anticipate election results in 2020.
- The Platte Institute considered what the 2020 elections mean for tax policy.
- The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity launched a statewide petition drive to compel lawmakers to restore public trust in public elections.
- Sutherland Institute held a post-election analysis event with Yuval Levin. Watch it here.
- The Maryland Public Policy Institute published three lessons from Election Day.
- The California Policy Center highlighted how teachers unions and states are going after pandemic pods.
- The Cascade Policy Institute noted Oregon needs to make school choice a priority during the 2021 legislative session.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy pointed out the number of homeschoolers in Mississippi has increased by 35 percent over the previous year.
- On Free to Offend, the Nevada Policy Research Institute considered how education reform—specifically the exploding popularity of choice programs—will impact politics and culture in the post-election world.
- Sutherland Institute considered what education looks like in the United States under a Biden administration.
- Sutherland Institute outlined three education issues for newly elected officials to focus on.
- The Tax Education of Iowa noted Iowa has an opportunity to expand educational opportunity by allowing dollars to follow students.
- The Washington Policy Center highlighted how Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara donated $1.75 million to open a new public charter school. WPC pointed out this opens up the possibility of broader political support for the state’s beleaguered charter schools.
- The Goldwater Institute argued some state governors are playing politics with the coronavirus, building up unnecessary bureaucracy to keep Americans from accessing a vaccine.
- A Nevada judge overturned a criminal conviction obtained by Prosecutor and State Senator Melanie Scheible, citing the fact that her violation of the Nevada Constitution—by serving in two branches of government at once—meant she “did not have the legal authority to prosecute.” It is on these grounds that Nevada Policy Research Institute filed a lawsuit against every sitting state legislator who is simultaneously serving as a state or local government employee in violation of the Nevada Constitution.
- The Washington Policy Center highlighted how there could be more public participation across Washington during the 2021 Legislative Session. Through Zoom, the public will be able to sign in and testify directly from their homes, places of business, or wherever is most convenient for them.
- The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty will participate in the Wisconsin Supreme Court oral argument in the legal challenge to the Wisconsin Governor’s coronavirus emergency declarations. WILL is going to address whether the Legislature’s grant of authority constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of its core power to legislate.
Jobs and state economies
- A new video from the Foundation for Government Accountability warns lawmakers of the unintended consequences of heavy-handed, government-imposed lockdowns.
- The Maine Policy Institute is encouraging residents to sign a petition against another statewide lockdown of Maine.
- The Pegasus Institute highlighted a lawsuit filed by 40 restaurants against the Kentucky Governor.
- In a new “Faces of the Shutdown” episode, the Pelican Institute shared a story on Jaymie and Sam Wright, a husband and wife team who spent years building two successful bars from the ground up. Louisiana’s shutdown forced them to close their bars permanently.
- The Buckeye Institute, Goldwater Institute, and Americans for Prosperity-Ohio sent an open letter to the Ohio Governor and members of the Ohio General Assembly urging the quick adoption of universal occupational licensing recognition.
- The Buckeye Institute argued a second shutdown is the wrong cure for the coronavirus.
State budgets and spending
- The Illinois Policy Institute noted pension reform is key to protecting Illinois services and taxpayers after the defeat of the “fair tax.”
- The Yankee Institute considered a new report that placed Connecticut second only to Illinois in the amount of state debt compared to personal income.
- The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of Alaska Vocational Instructor Christopher Woods in his case against the Alaska State Employees’ Association (ASEA). Woods is challenging restrictions on his First Amendment right to leave his union.
- Phil Williams, Alabama Policy Institute’s Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel and a veteran of the United States Army, offered a Veterans Day message from API.
- The Badger Institute released a new video on how they shape public policy and transform lives.
- Empire Center pointed out how coronavirus infections are again rising in New York’s nursing homes.
- Empower Mississippi considered Mississippi’s violent crime rate.
- Washington Policy Center considered the potential healthcare changes the Biden Administration could make without congressional approval.
Think tanks in the news
- The Badger Institute discussed police discipline and transparency on WTAQ Radio.
- In the Federalist, the Commonwealth Foundation explained how Pennsylvania Democrats deliberately stoked 2020 election chaos.
- In RealClearPolicy, the Commonwealth Foundation reviewed what we can learn from Pennsylvania’s election chaos.
- In the California Globe, the Freedom Foundation noted government unions had a surprisingly bad election night in California.
- In Redstate, Freedom Foundation criticized the California Governor’s holiday guidelines for navigating the coronavirus.
- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation considered if another political realignment on the horizon.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s Keli’i Akina interviewed Libertas Institute’s Connor Boyack about restoring Hawaii’s economy.
- Illinois Policy Institute discussed voters’ rejection of the “fair tax” on WIND Radio in Chicago.
- In the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Policy Institute explained why voters made the right choice on the tax amendment.
- In The Hill, the Mackinac Center considered if Michigan’s collapse in union membership is a sign of things to come.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs noted rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College.
- In the Washington Examiner, the Pacific Research Institute noted the key to stopping Biden’s healthcare plan is gridlock.
Events and Opportunities
The Election and Implications for the Pro-freedom Agenda
The Philanthropy Roundtable
Turkeys, Taters & Treats: Tasty Tidbits For Your Thanksgiving Table
John Locke Foundation | November 16, 2020
Idaho Legislature 101
Idaho Freedom Foundation | January 7, 2021