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).
- American Enterprise Institute: AEI’s president, Arthur Brooks, released a new podcast, “The Arthur Brooks Show,” that will explore the art of disagreement in the current political climate and provide listeners with a primer on how to disagree better, not less.
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation: The Foundation is hosting a 2018 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum (September 7) in Atlanta to kick off the legislative session. Modeled after the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s highly successful Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature, the day-long forum will focus on teacher pension reform, education innovation, and state-focused healthcare reforms.
- Policy Circle: Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Circle Leadership Summit, taking place September 6-7 in Chicago. This year’s summit focuses on the intersection of leadership and public policy.
- Property and Environment Research Center: Is the Endangered Species Act of 1973 a tremendous success or a dismal failure? PERC Reports: Getting Species Recovery Right explores the challenges of species recovery and how to provide incentives that can overcome those challenges.
- Think Freely Media: The 2018 Great Communicators Tournament is underway and the first finalist has been chosen at FEEcon. Qualifying rounds will also take place at the SPN 26th Annual Meeting this fall.
Education: Expanding options for families
- Washington Policy Center: The Janus decision may restore respect for teaching as a profession. Here’s how.
- Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty: A new study by WILL documents how Milwaukee Public Schools has caused its own budget woes by evading state law and refusing to take serious action on its vacant and underutilized school buildings.
Healthcare: Improving access to and affordability of care
- Mercatus Center: Want to measure overall access to healthcare in each state? The Mercatus Center has recently updated their Healthcare Openness and Access Project.
Free Speech: Protecting Americans’ First Amendment Rights
- Free State Foundation: The Next Generation Television Marketplace Act has been reintroduced in the House. If adopted, the bill would eliminate or substantially curtail legacy video regulations based on perceptions from the early 1990s, bolstering free market competition and free speech in the video services market.
Worker Freedom: Giving workers a voice and a choice
- The Buckeye Institute: Following the US Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision, the Institute was the first organization in the country to file lawsuits calling on courts to end compelled exclusive representation by unions.
- California Policy Center: The Center notes AFSCME’s reaction to the Janus v. AFSCME ruling proves how important the decision was.
- Commonwealth Foundation: Analysis by the Foundation found “fair share” fees forced non-union workers in Pennsylvania to pay almost $9.7 million to unions in 2017.
- Pioneer Institute: The Massachusetts legislature has given unions even more power, a move the Institute says could “gut Massachusetts labor relations law” and make it easier for government employees to be intimidated or coerced into joining.
- Rio Grande Foundation: The Foundation provides formal comments against dues skimming. (The Department of Health and Human Services will accept public comments until August 13.)
Taxes & Budgets: Encouraging fiscal responsibility and sustainability
- Illinois Policy Institute: The method by which local governments calculate Illinoisans’ property tax bills is broken. The Institute offers three ways Springfield can fix it. They also shed light on the reasons prompting higher property taxes.
- Platte Institute: The Institute is working on a research agenda focused on property tax reform, as well as state and local spending, to provide policymakers and taxpayers with a menu of alternatives that can help the state build a better tax system for economic growth.
Welfare Reform: Decreasing government dependence
- Free to Choose: The Network’s new film, “Work & Happiness: The Human Cost of Welfare,” dives into the personal lives of four individuals on welfare and examines the struggles they experience with America’s current system.
Pension Reform: Achieving retirement security
- Independence Institute: Colorado has made progress in improving the future of its pension system, but the Institute suggests more can be done.