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 firstname.lastname@example.org (all submissions are subject to SPN approval).
- Fair Share Fees: Following the Janus v. AFSCME decision, officials in at least five states — New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, and Ohio — have confirmed the deduction of fair share fees from employees paychecks has been stopped. Many union officials have also confirmed they are complying with the decision immediately.
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation: The Foundation has put together a list of all the new Georgia laws that went into effect on July 1, helping residents and visitors be a little less surprised.
- Pacific Research Foundation: The latest PRI podcast features California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson discussing the efforts of her self-supporting state agency to help Californians find an affordable place to live. She also gives her thoughts on what should be done next to address the state’s housing affordability and homeless problems.
- Texas Public Policy Foundation: Is apathy the biggest threat to America’s independence?
Education: Expanding options for families
- Bluegrass Institute: The Institute proposes a solution for a new pension system desperately needed for incoming Kentucky teachers.
- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs: Good news for education choice! Oklahoma has expanded its 529 accounts, college savings plans, to include K-12 tuition as well.
Healthcare: Improving access to and affordability of care
- Idaho Freedom Foundation: The Foundation “has an interesting solution for providing healthcare coverage to the working poor and Medicare expansion is not it.”
Free Speech: Protecting Americans’ First Amendment Rights
- Free State Foundation: A video of the Foundation’s recent Communications Policy seminar featuring a panel on “Municipal Broadband, Net Neutrality, and the First Amendment” is now available online.
- Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty: The Institute recently won its academic freedom case against Marquette University on behalf of Political Science professor John McAdams.
Worker Freedom: Giving workers a voice and a choice
- Alaska: 20-year teaching veteran Todd Smolden shares his perspective and his colleagues’ reactions to the recent Janus v. AFSCME decision.
- Buckeye Institute: How will the recent Janus ruling impact Ohio workers? This op-ed in The Columbus Dispatch looks at the potential effect.
- Center of the American Experiment: The Center ran billboard ads this week during the NEA convention in Minneapolis to alert teachers to their options for union membership.
- Freedom Foundation: A recent Fox News segment highlights the challenges organizations face in educating government employees about their rights.
- Illinois Policy Institute: They have a great piece in The Telegraph on “How an Illinois mom set the stage for monumental Janus decision” highlighting how the SEIU dues skimming case set the stage to restore First Amendment rights to government workers everywhere.
- Montana Policy Institute: Montana government employees now have the right to choose whether or not they want to join and fund a union, but the recent court ruling is unlikely to have a big impact on union membership in the state.
- New Choice NY: The New York Post covers the new resource site to help New York public employees know their options for opting out of their union.
- Washington Policy Center: Are workers who don’t want union membership “free riders” or were they “compelled riders?” This piece addresses some of the questions and myths surrounding this topic.
Energy: Protecting consumers and the environment
- Palmetto Promise Institute: The Institute has released a new study providing insight into which customers will bear the higher financial burden from the failed nuclear project.
Taxes & Budgets: Encouraging fiscal responsibility and sustainability
- Beacon Center: The Center has proposed a nine-part solution to Nashville’s crowded streets that includes an adaptive traffic control system and room for private companies to innovate and would not require higher taxes.
- Ethan Allen Institute: The Institute covers the good and the bad of Vermont’s recent budget and tax decisions.
Welfare Reform: Decreasing government dependence
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy: The Center clarifies that the farm bill is essentially a welfare bill, and once that should require work requirements for able-bodied adults.