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 email@example.com (all submissions are subject to SPN approval).
- The president announced his intent to nominate Institute for Free Speech Legal Director Allen Dickerson to fill a vacancy on the Federal Election Commission. Dickerson has led the Institute’s litigation team since 2011 and is one of the nation’s top experts in campaign finance law.
This Week on SPN.org
2020 Bob Williams Awards Finalists Announced
Network organizations and supporters are invited to help us choose the winners of the 2020 Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement.
- Thanks to the Beacon Center of Tennessee, you can now make music at home in Nashville. The Metro Nashville Council voted to allow businesses to operate from home. Before that decision, no one—including recording studios—could operate a home business that saw clients in the home. Beacon and the Institute of Justice teamed up with two home business owners to fight back against this law.
- In California, a new charter school opened that offers a dramatic departure from the failed public education model. The Orange County Classical Academy (OCCA) is a new elementary school licensed to use the K-12 curriculum developed by Hillsdale College. OCCA’s curriculum acknowledges America’s important role in the world and embraces Judeo-Christian principles as expressed by the founders of America. California Policy Center celebrated the school’s opening and noted it will transform education in California.
- A bill that would have given the Hawaii State Director of Health broad coronavirus screening powers died at the State Capitol this week. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has been urging lawmakers to defer this measure, arguing Hawaii residents need more time to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the state response.
- The Missouri Governor signed a major occupational licensing reform bill into law on Monday. The Platte Institute noted how the bill creates universal licensing recognition and allows the formerly incarcerated to earn an occupational license and remake their lives.
- In a win for transparency, the Texas Public Policy Foundation won its open records lawsuit against the City of Georgetown in response to the city withholding a “payback analysis” document from TPPF’s client, Terry Putnam. The court determined that the payback analysis, which Mr. Putnam requested in November 2016, is not exempt from public disclosure.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
GSI Analysis: Q1 GDP Report: NJ’s Economy Faced Significant Contraction as COVID-19 Impacts State
Garden State Initiative
The Road Ahead Why Florida Should Shift from Per-Gallon Gas Taxes to Per-Mile Charges— and How to Do It
James Madison Institute (Authored by Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole)
A blueprint for getting the Silver State working again!
Nevada Policy Research Institute
Investing in the Future Workforce: Why Missouri Should have an IRC Bonus Pay Program
Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development
The Texas Two-Step: Community-Based Care and the Family First Prevention Services Act
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Research & Initiatives
- The Alabama Policy Institute encouraged state lawmakers to limit uncertainty for healthcare providers by extending the suspension of licensure and certificate-of-need regulations for 12 months.
- As a first step in criminal justice reform efforts, the Badger Institute noted lawmakers should require the state to collect, analyze, and report more comprehensive data from both state agencies and local governments.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee reviewed Nashville’s and Memphis’ confusing mask mandates.
- The Buckeye Institute, along with three of its individual employees, filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio. Buckeye is protesting a state law allowing the City of Columbus to tax income from workers who do not live in, and were prohibited from working within, the city’s jurisdiction during Ohio’s stay-at-home order. Buckeye is urging the court to declare the law unconstitutional.
- Center of the American Experiment celebrated Florida’s passage of the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act, which reduces or eliminates licensing requirements for multiple professions.
- Civitas Institute reviewed the outcomes of North Carolina’s 2020 legislative short session.
- Commonwealth Foundation called for increased educational opportunities for military families through Education Savings Accounts.
- Empire Center highlighted how New York’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by more than eight percent in the first three months of 2020.
- The Freedom Foundation sued San Bernardino County over an information request denial. San Bernardino County refused to hand over contact information about public employees to the Freedom Foundation because it knows the Foundation is doing so to inform employees about their constitutional right to opt out of union membership.
- The Georgia Center for Opportunity highlighted a community in Lawrenceville, Georgia, that has helped more than 200 families avoid eviction, have sufficient nutrition, and get back to a stable income after the coronavirus crisis.
- The Idaho Freedom Foundation asked the Ada County prosecutor to appoint a special prosecutor to look into a violation of Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.
- Illinois Policy Institute highlighted how the Illinois Governor has been pushing for a progressive income tax amendment as a way to generate $3.7 billion for state spending.
- John Locke Foundation Vice President Donna Martinez and Chairman John Hood discussed the debate surrounding reopening North Carolina public schools.
- MacIver Institute noted that police reform starts with reforming those who oversee the police.
- The Mackinac Center highlighted individuals across the state who are putting their skills to use and caring for their communities’ most pressing needs.
- As more parents show an interest in homeschooling, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy shared tips for those considering or ready to make the switch.
- Palmetto Promise Institute explained why they signed onto multiple letters that call on Congress to make sensible decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Pelican Institute reviewed the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers that find Louisiana’s economy suffered one of the worst declines in the nation.
- The Pioneer Institute developed a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Tracker that allows users to track PPP loans by recipient, lender, location, industry, and loan range.
- The Show-Me Institute noted that if Walmart is essential, small retailers should be too. Show-Me encouraged lawmakers to come back into special session and pass a law that makes this clear.
- Sutherland Institute explained why public schools should consider hybrid homeschooling this year.
- After the Iowa Legislature passed COVID-19 liability reform, the Tax Education Foundation of Iowa explained how the law will protect businesses that are reopening and aid in the state’s recovery.
- Yankee Institute pointed out how a Connecticut state trooper remains on the payroll despite his multiple felonies and misdemeanors.
Think Tanks in the News
- The Buckeye Institute noted how federally funded Education Savings Accounts can provide some additional flexibility for families during this uncertain time.
- In The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Commonwealth Foundation presented three steps to ensure that Pennsylvania’s private and Catholic school students can go back to class.
- In Forbes, the Foundation for Government Accountability explained how telehealth mandates hurt vulnerable patients and small businesses.
- Several media outlets, including Newsmax TV and KOMO News in Seattle covered the Freedom Foundation’s lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Washington Governor’s mask order.
- Illinois Policy Institute argued passing the progressive tax would empower Illinois lawmakers to go after seniors’ retirement income.
- The John Locke Foundation asserted there should not be a statewide policy in North Carolina for reopening schools.
- The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy commented on a new study that finds New Hampshire taxpayers get the best deal in the United States.
- Kansas Policy Institute pointed out that Kansas only has school choice for those who can afford it.
- In The Baltimore Sun, the Maryland Public Policy Institute considered how Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will affect school choice in Maryland.
- The Pacific Research Institute discussed the future of the Affordable Care Act on KGMI Radio.
- In The New York Post, the Reason Foundation detailed the impact of the new Supreme Court decision, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.
- The Rio Grande Foundation partnered with Americans for Tax Reform for an op-ed that highlights why tax increases in New Mexico would be a mistake.
Virtual Events &
2020 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum
Georgia Public Policy Foundation | July 15, 2020
Carolina Rebound Virtual Town Hall: Education
John Locke Foundation | July 11, 2020
Maine Policy Pours with Tim Keller, Institute for Justice
Maine Policy Institute | July 29, 2020