State Policy Network
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Built for This Moment

Thanks to our supporters and partners in the 50-state freedom movement, State Policy Network was ready to lead in crisis and restore freedom, opportunity, and prosperity to America.

This year brought many unprecedented challenges. Americans faced a novel healthcare crisis, economic recession, civil unrest, and growing examples of government abuse of power. Americans are looking for solutions to improve healthcare, strengthen the economy, educate our children, get people back to work, and preserve our freedoms now and into the future.

In crisis, leaders must make a choice: They can either resist, or they can adapt in the face of change and create a better way forward. The leaders in this Network have chosen the latter.

While the days ahead are uncertain, we know if the wrong vision—and wrong reforms—takes hold, the future of the country lies in the balance. Thanks to our supporters, we have built a Network ready to pass many solutions that helped save lives and livelihoods. Now, we are ready to take on what comes next. This is the State Moment – while there will likely be gridlock in Washington, DC, there are significant opportunities in the states.

Thank you for making this important work possible. Please consider a gift to State Policy Network today by clicking “Support SPN” to donate online or by sending your support via check to:

State Policy Network
1655 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 360
Arlington, VA 22209

To learn more about SPN and how we can best partner with you, please contact Christina Pajak at pajak@spn.org.


SPN’s 2020 Annual Report


The Way Forward

Below are our ambitious plans to restore American prosperity in 2021 in key areas, including the economy, education, healthcare, civil liberties, labor, energy, and leadership.

Please click “learn more” for more details on each.


Leading the Economic Recovery

Small business owner opening her shop. Protecting small businesses by leading the economic recovery.

The country needs a plan to get people safely back to work, restore financial peace-of-mind, and revitalize battered state economies. 65 percent of Americans believe the economy is the top issue of concern right now.

Members of the Network have passed dozens of reforms across all 50 states to increase jobs, innovation, and financial relief for business owners and citizens. SPN aims to empower the Network to build a groundswell of innovative policy reform that stimulates state recovery and economic growth, moving 10 states back to pre-recession job counts by mid-2022:

  1. Reduce red tape to increase entrepreneurship and small business formation.
  2. Provide citizens and businesses with tax relief.
  3. Offer critical cost-saving efforts to balance budgets during budget negotiations.
  4. Grant businesses liability protection to shield them from frivolous lawsuits and support safe re-openings. 
  5. Curb the massive flow of federal dollars to the states, and instead offer states greater flexibility in how they spend their pre-allocated funds.

Learn more about state economic recommendations and how this Network is getting people back to workremoving barriers to opportunity, and supporting the safe reopening of businesses.


Expanding Education Opportunities

Parent helping two children with school work. Expand education opportunities to protect learning.

Our country’s education system has faced one of its biggest disruptions as schools across the country closed or transitioned to virtual learning. This coming year will be a significant opportunity for the Network to drive meaningful change so that parents, teachers, and communities do not have another year of strained education. Parents are hungry for more choices: 54 percent of parents with children in public schools said they are considering alternatives.

SPN aims to improve student outcomes in America by empowering the Network’s collaboration with state leaders so that at least 14 states can reform their education systems and give families more affordable opportunities: 

  1. Pass reforms that improve the existing K-12 system so it can serve children enrolled in public schools in more effective, equitable ways.
  2. Increase education alternatives for families who need more customized options by expanding Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), voucher programs, tax credits, charter schools, and learning PODS.
  3. Seize opportunities created by the historic Espinoza v. Montana Supreme Court decision, which opened up school choice options in 37 states.
  4. Adopt sound fiscal policies around K-12 funding.

Learn more about K-12 education reform and how the Institute for Justice’s Espinoza v. Montana case could open greater education opportunities in the states.


Making State Healthcare Reform Permanent

Make Healthcare reform permanent. Expanding healthcare access.

Forty states passed state-level emergency healthcare reform during the peak of the pandemic, making more ground in healthcare in 17 days than we have seen in the last decade. Every win in the states proves that we don’t need government-run healthcare to deliver quality, affordable healthcare to people when they need it most. Most Americans (64 percent) continue to say that healthcare is a top priority for the country, and 38 percent believe we need to replace the ACA with a system that prioritizes transparency, freedom of choice, and cost-effective care.

SPN aims to work with the Network in multiple states to ensure these groundbreaking reforms are permanent and will allow states to expand access, reduce cost, and provide a better experience for patients. 

  1. Expand the Number of Healthcare Responders: Reform scope-of-practice laws to allow more people to provide care like nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
  2. End Surprise Billing: Require hospitals and providers to give patients the cost of treatment before they get billed.
  3. Eliminate Certificate-of-Need (CON) laws: Stop forcing providers to obtain a government permission slip for equipment and facilities in order to compete.
  4. Expand Telehealth: Give patients the ability to see a doctor for non-urgent needs virtually, making it easier and safer to get care.
  5. Remove Licensing Barriers: Allow professionals to serve where the need is greatest by practicing across state lines.  

Learn more about the SPN-sponsored Healthcare Working Group and multi-state healthcare reforms during the pandemic.


Protecting American Civil Liberties

Protecting American Civil Liberties

The pandemic has generated varied responses from state governments. In some cases, politicians have imposed burdensome restrictions on their citizens—measures that have called into question the constitutionality of their policies and the long-term impact on American civil liberties. Responding to a crisis or a local need requires states to strike a balance between government action that empowers solutions and government action that undermines American rights and freedoms.

Strong checks and balances hold policymakers accountable, and SPN supports efforts across the country to push back when abuses of power arise. We aim to ensure that no policymaker in any state oversteps their bounds or has the power to make sweeping decisions without the proper checks in place.

The Network is protecting Americans in several ways, whether it be through litigation (see the Mackinac Center’s recent victory here and Kansas Justice Institute here), policy advancement (see the Alabama Policy Institute’s victory here), investigative journalism, research, and more.

Learn more about the Network’s fight against government overreach.


Labor Reform: A System That’s Better for Workers and All Americans

Being a champion for workers, like the hair professionals who have been kept from earning a living.

While other issues have dominated the policy space this year, we learned something early in the crisis: Freedom in the workplace—even when workers may be working from home or on furlough—remains important and is perhaps more necessary than ever. Most American families, even those who have been fortunate not to see a loss in wages, have reexamined their expenditures in light of the pandemic. 44 percent of Americans say they have delayed or reduced their personal spending. At the same time, government unions have used the crisis to advance their political agendas, often taking positions and pursing policies out of sync with their members and American families.

The Network aims to make sure government workers have the information and freedom they need to make decisions about union membership and that government unions are focused on serving their members rather than politics. Government workers should be able to trust that employers are protecting the rights granted to them by the historic Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision.

  1. Support efforts in the states to advance pro-worker reforms that protect workers’ rights and grant them greater choice over their membership decisions.
  2. Empower the Network to defend workers through litigation when their First Amendment rights are violated.
  3. Increase union transparency through federal reforms, giving government workers the information they deserve to know about their union’s financial health and spending activities.
  4. Invest in solutions to remove obstacles and fill critical needs that workers identify when exercising their right to leave their union.

Learn more about the Network’s recent efforts to end the “dues skim” in support of home healthcare providers.


Addressing Energy and Land Use Challenges

A field at sunset. Responsible land use and energy policy go hand in hand to ensure prosperity.

In 2021, we can expect policies surrounding energy to get more aggressive than ever before. Politicians, both at the federal and state levels, have promised to enact policies that will remake entire economies and industries by imposing restrictions and mandates on how energy is created and delivered, regardless of practicality or cost on everyday people. Similarly, the nation needs to address growing challenges to how public lands are managed to avoid natural disasters like the fires that plagued the West Coast in 2020. 

The Network aims to develop a positive vision for free-market energy and land use that empowers local leaders to make the best decisions for their citizens rather than one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington, DC. Policies built on the freedom to choose effective approaches to stewardship lead to a better environment without unintentionally harming the economy and everyday people. It is in our interest to have clean air, water, and a healthy environment, while also seeking economic development that helps alleviate human suffering. The more prosperous a society is, the more we have to invest in the preservation of our environment.  


Building Leaders to Innovate in Crisis

In times of crisis, Americans needs strong leaders willing to rise to the occasion and offer solutions. Because of our generous supporters, SPN has had the privilege of partnering with leaders in all 50 states, empowering them to build influential organizations that outlast any election cycle.

  • Training and Coaching: SPN builds strong leaders and organizations in every state through best-in-class training in areas such as government affairs, communications, and fundraising.
  • Strategic Planning: SPN partners with organizations to help them craft strategic plans that drive their priorities, align their staff, and help them adapt in a rapidly-changing environment.
  • Peer-to-Peer Engagement: SPN convenes dozens of specialized groups of Network staff so they can share best practices and collaborate on strategies with leaders in other states.
  • Incubating Innovation: SPN works with state partners to launch innovative projects and new organizations that fill critical needs to advancing liberty.
  • Owning the Narrative: In order to be positioned as a driving force in policy discussions, the Network must build movements for change in their states. To that end, SPN conducts public opinion polling to help the Network effectively reach audiences with their ideas and messages and works with Network leaders to build engaged audiences.

Through SPN’s programming, these leaders come together to learn best practices, share results with one another, and collaborate on multi-state opportunities to drive change. During the pandemic, state leaders drove numerous reforms that have helped Americans on the road to recovery. We aim to cultivate dynamic and entrepreneurial leaders who will build lasting coalitions for freedom in their states.


Charles Mitchell Headshot

“This has been an exceedingly difficult time for our country and for many of us personally. The people I go to for advice, encouragement, and a kick in the pants during times like this overwhelmingly come from SPN peer networks. Many of the best ideas I’ve implemented in Pennsylvania come from the conversations at those gatherings. And particularly during COVID-19, I’ve seen many ideas shared among the Network adapted and spread across the country, for the good of our fellow Americans.”

– Charles Mitchell, CEO, Commonwealth Foundation


Thank you for making this important work possible. Please consider a gift to State Policy Network today by clicking “Support SPN” to donate online or by sending your support via check to:

State Policy Network
1655 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 360
Arlington, VA 22209

To learn more about SPN and how we can best partner with you, please contact Christina Pajak at pajak@spn.org.