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This Week on SPN.org
The Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously to improve the process to access online public education through the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP). In 2018, Missouri students finally got the legal right to access MOCAP, but they had to get permission from their district to do so. Many parents’ requests were denied without sufficient evidence, and lawyers had to be hired. The Missouri Board of Education inserted a decision time limit into the law to make it 10 business days from receipt of a request to enroll in MOCAP. Parents not provided a decision within this timeframe get default approval. The Show-Me Institute noted the Board of Education did the right thing and shifted some power from district administration to parents, where it belongs.
Thanks to the support of the Goldwater Institute, the Arizona Supreme Court has decided that Arizona will join the handful of states that allow highly trained Limited License Legal Practitioners to provide basic legal services to people who would otherwise have no way to get help or support when they try to access the justice system. For decades, only people who have been accepted by the American Bar Association were allowed to offer legal advice, no matter how qualified they were to give that guidance.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
Access to Health Care Made Easier: Promoting Best Practices in Ohio’s Telehealth Policy
The Buckeye Institute
The Mountain State’s K-12 Staffing Trends: Is there a staffing surge in West Virginia’s public education system?
Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy
Preserving Medicaid Before It’s Too Late
Eligible for Welfare Until Proven Otherwise: How Hospital Presumptive Eligibility Pours Gasoline on the Fire of Medicaid Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
Foundation for Government Accountability
Reform the Hawaii LUC to Encourage More Housing
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Big Government, Big Price Tag – Part 1
John Locke Foundation
The Long View: A Public Policy Roadmap for Saving Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Recovery Period
Reimagining Transportation Policy During and After COVID-19
Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards A Recovery in Twenty-twenty Act (RESTART Act)
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Solitary Confinement in the Pelican State
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Trends in State Funding and Tuition Revenue for Public Higher Education: 1980-2019.
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Financial State of the States 2020
Truth in Accounting
Policy News from the States
- Alabama Policy Institute’s Josh Pendergrass shared his personal story of growing up in poverty and how a quality education changed his economic realities, outlook on life, and future.
- Center of the American Experiment shared information for parents on learning pods.
- Commonwealth Foundation highlighted a new report that finds severe, long-term impacts from COVID-related school closures. Commonwealth explained how Education Savings Accounts can help alleviate some of these woes.
- The Goldwater Institute analyzed a state ballot initiative calling for increased education funding through a new tax.
- Idaho Freedom Foundation highlighted how many families are at a disadvantage when it comes to affording alternative learning options.
- Independence Institute CEO Jon Caldara explained why he’s taking legal action against his son’s school.
- The Mackinac Center noted if policymakers want to expand broadband access, they should start by working with private providers.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs argued now is the time to put universal school choice at the forefront.
- The Palmetto Promise Institute highlighted how virtual learning is leaving behind students with special needs.
- Washington Policy Center highlighted a new poll that shows a 10-point jump in popular support for school choice.
- Civitas Institute considered if the rule of law might swing not only the presidency but other major races. Civitas also considered if the media and polls be mistaken again in 2020.
- Illinois Policy Institute explained how residents can vote early.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy outlined how to vote in the Magnolia State.
- On the Pioneer Institute podcast, Pioneer discussed ranked choice voting with former Federal Election Commissioner Lee Goodman.
- The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity shared five tips to protect your vote.
- Wyoming Liberty Group launched a new podcast on election integrity and what voters need do to ensure the safety of their vote.
Energy and environment
- Empire Center called attention to next week’s pay raises for New York state employees.
- The John Locke Foundation argued that according to the very standards the North Carolina governor set, North Carolina should be open and back to business.
- The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty argued the Wisconsin Governor’s announcement that he has declared another statewide emergency declaration to respond to COVID-19 is a clear violation of state law.
Police and criminal justice
- The Badger Institute released a new video that features strategies for improving community-police relations.
State budgets and spending
- Alabama Policy Institute highlighted how the state has $1.4 billion in unspent CARES Act funds. API recommended the funding go directly to Alabama citizens and small businesses as they continue to recover from the pandemic.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee explained how Nashville taxpayers got the short end of the stick regarding the 2021 Metro Nashville budget.
- Illinois Policy Institute highlighted Truth in Accounting’s new report that finds Illinois again has the second-worst fiscal health in the nation.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy highlighted how the state is well-positioned with its rainy day fund.
- The Texas Public Policy Foundation released the numbers for the Conservative Texas Budget for the upcoming legislative session. The principle of the Conservative Texas Budget is to limit budget growth so state spending doesn’t outpace Texans’ ability to pay for it. For years, it has been used as an effective benchmark for responsible state spending.
- Washington Policy Center noted state revenues are growing overall but a budget deficit is still projected.
- Alaska Policy Forum launched a new video series, “Pandemic Pioneers,” that highlights Alaskans who have found success despite the shutdowns. Watch the first video on small business owner Kelsey Ingram.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee explained why Tennessee needs to remain a Right to Work state.
- Center of the American Experiment highlighted new research that provides more detail on how early COVID-19 stages affected small businesses.
- Free the People released a video on how we lose our privacy in a crisis.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity noted that government safety-net programs are not designed to restore dignity.
- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation criticized the heavily bureaucratic and confusing system of government-sponsored housing.
- The Goldwater Institute celebrated Justice Ginsburg’s achievements as a lawyer and judge.
- The Pacific Research Institute shared the facts about Prop 21, California’s rent control initiative.
- The Platte Institute noted how Nebraska has the lowest state unemployment rate in the nation.
- The Rio Grande Foundation compared city unemployment rates in New Mexico.
- Tax Education Foundation of Iowa highlighted how Iowa’s unemployment rate continues to decline.
Think tanks in the news
- Cascade Policy Institute argued instead of funding the public school system, Oregon should support students directly by providing each student as much as $10,500 from the State School Fund.
- With the emergency period of this pandemic over, the Center of the American Experiment questioned why the governor extended his emergency powers.
- Commonwealth Foundation encouraged lawmakers to enact policies that support Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.
- Freedom Foundation discussed last week’s ruling that the Pennsylvania Governor’s COVID-19 restrictions are unconstitutional.
- In The Gazette, Independence Institute CEO Jon Caldara explained why he’s suing his son’s school district.
- Garden State Initiative criticized New Jersey’s proposed budget and argued now is the time to stand up for fiscal policies that will improve the state’s economy and increase employment, enhance quality of life, and truly serve all of New Jersey.
- The James Madison Institute appeared on Drew Steele Radio to discuss the effects of Amendment 2 on Florida’s economy.
- The John Locke Foundation noted North Carolina is experiencing the worst economic recovery in the Southeastern United States.
- In The Salt Lake Tribune, Libertas Institute noted it’s time for Utah to empower individuals to have a voice in how the government uses technology.
- The Mackinac Center reviewed the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, the law the Michigan Governor is using to justify her unilateral control over the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs argued parental demand may change the school choice landscape.
- The Thomas Jefferson Institute highlighted how bad cops are protected by police unions and the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) the unions negotiate.
Events & Opportunities
Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk
John Locke Foundation | September 28, 2020
Federal Policy (non) Dinner with John McLaughlin
Thomas Jefferson Institute | September 30, 2020
San Antonio LLC Salon Dinner—The Rise of Millennial Socialism
Texas Public Policy Foundation | October 1, 2020
Gala at Home: The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner
National Review Institute | October 5, 2020
An Evening with Dennis Prager: Virtual 2020 Annual Dinner
Goldwater Institute | October 16, 2020
20th Anniversary Liberty Ball
Rio Grande Foundation | October 24, 2020