This weekly round-up shares the latest news about what the network is doing to promote state-based solutions that will improve the lives of families, workers, and local communities. If you are an SPN state think tank and have an update you’d like us to include in next week’s round-up, please email us at email@example.com (all submissions are subject to SPN approval).
Education: Expanding options for families
- Rhode Island: Raising the cap on tax-credit scholarship contributions could go a long way in helping low-income students succeed.
Healthcare: Improving access to and affordability of care
- 2018 Health Reform: Is there hope for healthcare this year? Many state think tanks have embraced a plan that would address the two main problems under Obamacare — costs went up and choices went down.
- Florida: Direct Primary Care was just one of the many principled reforms the Florida Legislation passed this year. The James Madison Institute summarizes the 2017-18 legislative session.
- Iowa: Iowa is “done” waiting for Congress to fix the Affordable Care Act and other states could follow their example to offer consumers affordable alternatives.
- Louisiana: The Pelican Institute identifies 6 problems with the Department of Health’s recent pro-Medicaid report. The state’s Medicaid expansion “helped far too few people obtain good, affordable health coverage and actually cost Louisiana desperately needed jobs.”
- Massachusetts: Price transparency with health insurers has significantly improved in Massachusetts but a recent Pioneer Institute study identifies areas where much can still be done.
Worker Freedom: Giving workers a voice and a choice
- West Virginia: The state will have a ruling on right-to-work laws by June.
Occupational Licensing Reform: Increasing jobs and opportunity
- Occupational licensing is why the poor don’t become rich: Based on the recent Archbridge Institute, the Foundation for Government Accountability notes “because of occupational licensing, children who grow up in low-income families are less likely to achieve the American Dream when they are adults.”
- Arizona: An in-home beauty service for the elderly, sick, and terminally ill is being forced to open a physical salon, which homebound clients will never visit, and undergo the licensing process for services they don’t offer. This new Goldwater Institute video captures the need for right-to-earn-a-living laws.
- Minnesota: Minnesota ranks 11th nationally for increases in occupational licensing. 30% of residents in “the land of the free” must be licensed by the state to do their job.
- Nebraska: An occupational licensing reform bill the Wall Street Journal editorial board considers a model for reform overcame intense opposition over the last year to pass almost unanimously.
- Ohio: The Buckeye Institute praises legislators’ efforts to eliminate duplicative and unnecessary regulations that do little-to-nothing to protect public health and safety and prevent Ohioans from creating jobs and beginning new careers.
Government Transparency: Keeping government accountable
- Missouri: What is the cost of government transparency? Some cities in Missouri want to charge $35,000 for access to their records.
Taxes & Budgets: Encouraging fiscal responsibility and sustainability
- Budget and Economic Outlook Report: The Tax Foundation summarizes the key takeaways from last week’s Congressional Budget Office report.
- Misperceptions about federal tax reform: The James Madison Institute recently conducted a research poll on public perceptions relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the confusion it revealed was eye opening.
- Colorado: Should politicians have to ask residents before they raise taxes? Colorado’s low tax burden is largely due to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and the Independence Institute is launching a campaign to protect it.
- Florida: The benefits of recent tax reform are already being felt, the James Madison Institute notes “businesses of all sizes are reporting raises or new investments in Florida.”
- Minnesota: High estate taxes are resulting in less income, sales, and excise tax revenue. The Center of the American Experiment makes the connection.
- New Jersey: The governor is looking to nearby states as inspiration for economic growth, but the Garden State Initiative notes the state’s history would be a better model — when New Jersey had no income tax or sales tax and was one of the fastest growing states in the nation.
- New York: How will the new federal tax law affect NY’s middle-class families? The Empire Center has put together an interactive map to make it easy to see.
- North Carolina: A picture is worth a thousand words? The John Locke Foundation has put the 2017-18 North Carolina budget in images, making it easy to see where the state gets its money and how its spent.
- Pennsylvania: A Commonwealth Foundation direct mail piece about corporate welfare recently won the Best of the Best Direct Mail Award at the Reeds Award.
Welfare Reform: Decreasing government dependence
- 2018 Farm Bill: The Foundation for Government Accountability responds to the draft proposal for the 2018 Farm Bill which marks the next step in a national discussion on welfare reform.
Pension Reform: Achieving retirement security
- New Mexico: The Rio Grande Foundation notes government pensions in New Mexico are just 65% funded, on par with other states in the middle, but the trend isn’t good.