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 member 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).
Independence Institute’s office in downtown Denver was robbed over the weekend. Read Independence CEO John Caldera’s comments here.
As part of the Washington Policy Center’s “Free Markets Destroy” project, WPC launched their Free Markets Destroy 60-second video contest. Entries should answer the question: How has the free market destroyed the bad and improved situations in your life? Submissions must be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or TikTok with #FreeMarketsDestroy by September 15, 2020.
This Week on SPN.org
Election integrity in 2020: Insights for state think tanks
A summary of how state think tanks can engage on election integrity in a productive and constructive way.
Hiring Well, Doing Good: Georgia’s community-based program is helping Americans get back to work
GCO expands their community program that’s connecting low-income people with job opportunities in their area.
Communications case study: Commonwealth Foundation helps high school student become nationally recognized school choice advocate
Commonwealth Foundation builds their brand as a leading school choice advocate.
Pioneer Institute’s research helps inform Massachusetts’ response to coronavirus pandemic
Pioneer’s comprehensive research helps state policymakers and the public respond to the coronavirus.
Communications case study: Libertas channels ‘The Office’ to teach Utahans about burdensome tax on businesses
Libertas creates a video parody of the hit TV show “The Office.”
The Utah Supreme Court has unanimously approved a two-year pilot program that suspends many legal regulations. Libertas Institute noted thedecision will allow for a new marketplace of legal services to start up and thrive without being restricted or burdened by previous restrictions that would otherwise have prevented their existence.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
Cultural Indicators 2020 for Alabama and the United States
Alabama Policy Institute
Alaska Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Blocks
Alaska Policy Forum
Preserving Medicaid: How to Stop Shortchanging Patients and Bankrupting Taxpayers
Unleashing Educational Opportunity: The Untapped Potential of Expanded Tax Credit Scholarships
Charter schools improve teacher quality at traditional public schools
Josiah Bartlett Center
A Humane Approach to Work for Welfare
Maine Policy Institute
The Menace of Medical Rate Setting: The Case of California’s AB 72
Pacific Research Institute
COVID-19: Education’s Defining Moment
Property Tax Profile: Travis County
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Policy News from the States
- California Policy Center’s Parent Union held a rally outside of the United Teachers Los Angeles headquarters, calling for the reopening of schools.
- The Cascade Policy Institute argued Oregon’s coronavirus guidelines for school reopening decrease stability and increase uncertainty.
- Empower Mississippi noted “Learn Safely” scholarships would give families who are more comfortable with individual or small group instruction the ability to use existing funding for their students to pay for online or in-person tutors, therapy, online courses, and curricula.
- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation pointed out the flaws in zero-tolerance school discipline policies and called for more school choice for students that have struggled in traditional education settings.
- Idaho Freedom Foundation criticized Idaho’s legislative leaders and their decision to shut down any talk of expanding school choice options for the upcoming academic year.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs conducted a poll that finds Oklahoma parents think per-student funding should follow the student.
- Pelican Institute hosted its own “Back to School Week,” diving deep into Louisiana’s current education landscape, hosting conversations with leaders across the state, and releasing policy solutions to help students and parents overcome current difficulties.
- As the school year begins, the Pioneer Institute posted a database and map of Massachusetts districts’ reopening plans.
- The Washington Policy Center argued giving parents $3,000 to educate their children during the coronavirus would reduce inequities in public education.
- A new poll from the Civitas Institute reveals crime is becoming a major 2020 election issue.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii argued the high voter turnout in the primary election shows the frustration with Hawaii’s political class.
- As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took the stage this week at the Democratic Convention, John Locke Foundation CEO Amy Cooke explained how Ocasio-Cortez gets energy and environmental policies wrong.
- Wyoming Liberty Group published several blog posts on election integrity, including why the paper ballot process works best, which voting machines are used, and how to maintain voter integrity in Wyoming.
- The Foundation for Government Accountability considered if “price secrecy” in healthcare could soon be a thing of the past.
- The Goldwater Institute described how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to fail vulnerable patients.
- Pacific Research Institute’s Wayne Winegarden joined the Pegasus Institute podcast to discuss the danger of price controls in healthcare.
- Pioneer Institute sat down with two healthcare experts for a discussion on the promise and potential of virtual primary care to deliver direct doctor access, price transparency, and more holistic healthcare.
- Empire Center pointed out the New York Governor’s executive order to “reinvent” local police departments fails to address police unions.
- Texas Public Policy Foundation responded to state leaders calling for protection of police funding.
- The Yankee Institute considered a new report from the US Conference of Mayors that calls for increasing police accountability through reforming police union contracts.
- The Illinois Policy Institute criticized the Illinois Governor’s campaign to hike taxes on more than 100,000 small businesses by up to 47%.
- The Mackinac Center explained why Michigan’s corporate welfare programs are a bad investment.
- To help pension funds survive the coronavirus pandemic, the Maryland Public Policy Institute noted lawmakers around the US should not wait to initiate comprehensive pension reforms.
- Pegasus Institute explained why business protection is critical for coronavirus relief.
- The Platte Institute considered the pros and cons of the Nebraska Property Tax Incentive Act.
- The Reason Foundation examined a California Supreme Court ruling and the so-called “California Rule,” which provides some of the strongest legal protections for public employee pensions in the nation.
- The Show-Me Institute examined the perverse incentives behind Missouri’s corporate welfare programs.
- Tax Education Foundation of Iowa pointed out the best way to curb tax increases is to limit spending.
- The Alabama Policy Institute considered the president’s four executive orders aimed at providing relief to Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
- As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Beacon Center of Tennessee explained why Tennesseans should be proud of the historic role their state played in extending the right to vote to women.
- Center of the American Experiment argued the middle class is shrinking because people are getting richer.
- The Freedom Foundation celebrated the Michigan Civil Service Commission’s new rules that require that state workers be provided with annual notice of their First Amendment right “to join or not join” a union.
- The John Locke Foundation published 15 questions for the North Carolina Governor’s administration.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy shared Bobby Mitchell’s story, a small business owner who had to close his restaurant after the coronavirus shutdown.
- The Rio Grande Foundation questioned if the coronavirus crisis will finally spur long-overdue postal reform.
- The Washington Policy Center revealed an unexplained spike in King County cases that might have a connection to the recent protests in Seattle. WPC criticized the silence from government officials on this issue.
- The Yankee Institute launched Connecticut’s only comprehensive public union contract database. The database houses every state, municipal, and regional collective bargaining agreement in Connecticut, ensuring both that union members can access their own contracts—and that everyone can access the rules that govern their schools, police departments, towns, and state.
Think Tanks in the News
- Bluegrass Institute argued that parents who want a different approach to traditional schooling ought to not only have those options but should also receive financial aid to exercise them during the coronavirus crisis.
- The Commonwealth Foundation encouraged policymakers to repeal unneeded healthcare regulations so Pennsylvania’s health system is always prepared for crisis.
- In the Washington Examiner, the Foundation for Government Accountability noted unemployment fraud is rising thanks to the weekly $600 bonus to existing benefits.
- The John Locke Foundation noted using summertime polls to predict November outcomes is fraught with peril.
- In the Deseret News, the Libertas Institute noted regulatory relief is key for Utah’s COVID-19 recovery.
- In The Hill, the Mackinac Center noted the coronavirus pandemic is prompting parents to choose new paths for education.
- The Palmetto Promise Institute pointed out how Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grants provide peace of mind for worried parents in South Carolina.
- Mike Stenhouse, founder and CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, appeared on WPRI TV to discuss Rhode Island’s economy during the pandemic.
- As schooling disruptions continue across the country, the Show-Me Institute outlined what Missouri should be doing during this upheaval.
- In the Washington Examiner, the Texas Public Policy Foundation shared how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed Mark Jay and his wife, Erika. After Erika was diagnosed with cancer, the Jay family felt the financial pressure placed on them by insurance costs, even with the ACA rules in place.
- In The Seattle Times, the Washington Policy Center argued reducing the number of statewide elected offices would increase public accountability.
- The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty emphasized the importance of private schools and argued those schools deserve Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.
Virtual Events & Opportunities
Wisconsin’s Looming Budget Crisis
Badger Institute | August 25, 2020
Electing the North Carolina Supreme Court: Why The 2020 Races are Pivotal
John Locke Foundation | August 24, 2020
Apocalypse Never: A Conversation with Michael Shellenberg
Texas Public Policy Foundation | August 27, 2020