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).
- Georgia Center for Opportunity: The Center is hosting The Dad Factor: Presence, a “father-focused event, with guest speaker Kenneth Braswell this Saturday from 9AM-noon at Lucky Shoals Park in Norcross, GA. The event will provide support for dads along with tips and strategies on healthy living, healthy relationships, entrepreneurship, mentorship and so much more
- James Madison Institute: JMI president, James McClure, was chosen as one of the Miami Herald‘s 50 influential Floridians to offer his views through the November elections.
- John Locke Foundation: Congratulations to the Foundation! Their 2017-18 (North Carolina) Budget in Pictures won the 2018 American Inhouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA.
- Show Me Institute: Patrick Ishmael, Director of Government Accountability, was chosen as one of the Kansas City Star‘s 50 influential Missourians to offer his views through the November elections.
Education: Expanding options for families
- Commonwealth Foundation: The debate over using tax dollars to expand school choice in Pennsylvania has been renewed at the state Capitol.
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation: Georgia’s current teacher compensation is competitive, but lawmakers need to ensure that is sustainable for years to come.
- Independence Institute: How does expanded educational opportunity impact families in terms of expectations, habits, and aspirations? This central question too often gets lost in purely data-driven debates.
- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs: K-12 education is working in Texas, and other states should take notes.
Healthcare: Improving access to and affordability of care
- Idaho Freedom Foundation: The vote to expand Medicaid in November would be Idaho’s second-ever ballot-driven welfare plan.
- Pacific Research Institute: One in three Canadian seniors aren’t satisfied with the care they’re receiving (more than any other similar country) and our seniors deserve better than a similar healthcare style would offer.
- Texas Public Policy Foundation: TPPF is representing two self-employed Texans who are plaintiffs in a 20 state lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Jobs & Occupational Licensing Reform: Increasing jobs and opportunity
- Libertas Institute: Utah’s Constitution should protect citizens’ right to work — without a constitutional guideline to provide guard rails, occupational licensure has grown out of control.
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy: MCPP’s Mississippi Justice Institute contacted Tupelo, MS leaders to express concern that proposed food truck regulations could unfairly interfere with the local economy.
- Palmetto Promise Institute: The Institute offers a reminder to the workers who voted for the International Association of Machinists to represent them that the reason over 7,000 jobs are in South Carolina was workers’ decision to decertify the union in 2009.
Worker Freedom: Giving workers a voice and a choice
- Janus v. AFSCME: Michael Thulen, president of AFSCME Local 3790 in New Jersey and contributor to Mackinac Center’s My Pay, My Say site, has an insightful op-ed in The Hill highlighting three cultural reforms unions need to make to become relevant once again and restore the faith of their workers.
- Commonwealth Foundation: The Foundation was able to put The Wall Street Journal in touch with Keith Williams to weigh in on how a Supreme Court ruling for Janus could transform the country. Williams was a high school English teacher who quit his job to help other teachers learn about their options regarding union membership.
Energy: Protecting consumers and the environment
- The Buckeye Institute: The Institute testified on how energy mandates and subsidies harm Ohio’s economy.
Government Transparency: Keeping government accountable
- Pioneer Institute: How many Massachusetts state employees get tax-free perks? Officials are on a hunt to find out.
- Washington Freedom Foundation: The Foundation reviewed finance records from the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) and found that multiple labor unions may have broken the “Honest Elections Law” in contributing to candidates in the 2017 election.
Taxes & Budgets: Encouraging fiscal responsibility and sustainability
- Free State Foundation: Should Maryland lower its tax rates to attract more business?
- Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: Did the Hawaii government make its lava disaster worse?
- Illinois Policy Institute: The Institute explains how Illinois’ budgeting process puts taxpayers and reformers at a structural disadvantage.
- Independence Institute: Colorado’s population has grown by nearly two-thirds since 1992, one of the fastest increases in the country. The Institute identifies the cause of Colorado’s economic success at a time other states have struggled with stagnant incomes.
- Mackinac Center: Michigan lawmakers voted to pass critical, landmark reforms this week which eliminate costly “prevailing wage” mandates on public construction projects. Michigan’s “prevailing wage” law mandated union wage scales on public construction projects, adding approximately $400 million per year to the cost of building schools, roads, bridges, universities, town halls and other critical infrastructure.
- Tax Foundation: A new report from the Foundation looks at state and local individual income tax collections per capita.