This Week on SPN.org
Police reform in the states: Insights from five state-based experts
Five state-based experts share specific solutions that states and cities can enact to make communities more safe and just.
Opinions about local law enforcement and the desire for reforms
SPN’s Carrie Conko presents valuable insight on what the public thinks about law enforcement and potential reforms.
Two years after Janus, workplace freedom fights remain in courts
As the second anniversary of the landmark Janus v. AFSCME decision approaches, this piece highlights where workplace freedom efforts are headed in the states.
Saving lives and livelihoods in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
A summary of the Network’s reforms and litigation efforts that are addressing public health, economic, and civil liberty issues related to the pandemic.
Mackinac Center partners with Michigan Chamber of Commerce to help restart Michigan’s economy
Mackinac’s Holly Wetzel explains the benefits of partnering with your local or state chamber of commerce and shares practical examples from Mackinac Center’s experience.
- More good news for worker freedom: The Indiana attorney general issued an advisory opinion that says Indiana must provide employees with an annual opportunity to opt-out of paying union dues. Indiana is following the lead of Texas and Alaska. The Alaska Policy Forum commented on the opinion and encouraged more states to follow suit.
- Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission is taking steps to decrease alcohol regulations. The Commission started a process to make the temporary relaxed rules regarding alcohol delivery permanent. The Cascade Policy Institute noted how the policy will expand economic opportunity in the food and beverage industry.
- The Idaho Governor signed an executive order to make many of his temporary coronavirus deregulations permanent, including restrictions on telehealth. Idaho Freedom Foundation noted the governor has now set a precedent that will ensure state agencies assess their regulations going forward. Idaho also passed universal licensure, effective July 1, 2020. Workers who are licensed in other states no longer have to worry about re-applying for a license in the Gem State.
- Colorado passed a law against qualified immunity. The law does not do away with qualified immunity but allows citizens to bypass qualified immunity and sue police officers in the state court.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
Refusing to Work: Handling Employee Work Rejections in Light of Expanded Unemployment Benefits
Foundation for Government Accountability
Punished for Being Poor: The Relationship Between Poverty and Neglect in Texas
Texas Public Policy Foundation
A Snapshot of the State’s Budget Outlook
Washington Policy Center
Research & Initiatives
- The Alaska Policy Forum reviewed a new report from Truth in Accounting that focuses on transparency in the budgets of state governments. Alaska was the only state that saw a decrease in its transparency score from 2018 to 2019.
- The Wisconsin Free Market Coalition, which consists of the Badger Institute, MacIver Institute, and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, encouraged Wisconsin policymakers to extend the regulatory and licensing relief passed in the coronavirus relief package.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee outlined the good, the bad, and the ugly from Tennessee’s 2020 legislative session.
- The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies in House Bill 606, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Buckeye urged policymakers to resolve the differences between Senate Bill 308 and House Bill 606 as soon as possible to help struggling businesses recover.
- Center of the American Experiment described the bleak outlook for Minnesota’s recent graduates.
- Civitas Institute encouraged the North Carolina Governor to give clarity on reopening decisions.
- The Commonwealth Foundation reviewed two recently passed criminal justice reforms in Pennsylvania.
- A waterpark in Washington re-opened its doors this week after a federal court denied the Freedom Foundation’s request for a temporary restraining order. The park is forbidden to open during the current phase of the governor’s four-phase Safe Start plan.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity’s Hiring Well, Doing Good program is expanding rapidly in Columbus, Georgia. GCO is now forming more partnerships with businesses and nonprofits in the region. GCO also commented on a criminal record expungement bill that cleared the Georgia House on Wednesday. The bill would The measure would restrict access to the criminal records of defendants who have not committed additional crimes in four years, allowing more Georgians to join the workforce.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii advised state lawmakers to hold off on making any decisions about a bill that would give the state director of health broad powers to declare a statewide public health emergency.
- After Illinois Treasurer said a progressive state income tax will open the door to taxing retirement income, the Illinois Policy Institute noted how the tax will send more jobs and retirees to other states.
- The John Locke Foundation held a virtual town hall focused on tax, budgeting, and economic issues. Experts discussed how North Carolina can move forward in a responsible manner that leads to economic growth, fiscal stability, and job opportunities for every North Carolinian.
- Kansas Policy Institute argued we need to change the narrative that the volume of spending by public education is a determinant of quality.
- The MacIver Institute considered what CARES Act funding means for higher education in Wisconsin.
- The Mackinac Center’s lawsuit challenging the Michigan Governor’s use of emergency powers is headed to the Michigan Supreme Court.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy compared Mississippi’s excise tax on alcohol with that of other states.
- As Oklahoma considers expanding Medicaid, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs pointed out there’s no pot of “free” federal Medicaid money for the state.
Think Tanks in the News
- In The Columbus-Dispatch, The Buckeye Institute offered several policy ideas to treat Ohio’s economic recession and rampant unemployment.
- In The Orange County Register, the California Policy Center pointed out how the House Democrats’ police reform bill doesn’t even begin to address the root of systemic police violence: police unions.
- The Center of the American Experiment argued calls for getting rid of the police actually hurt the cause of sensible police reform.
- On the Jason Rantz Show in Seattle, the Freedom Foundation discussed a Freedom Foundation report that finds the State Department of Health was overreporting coronavirus deaths.
- The James Madison Institute appeared on Fox Business to discuss Florida’s work to attract investment in big tech.
- The John Locke Foundation argued the North Carolina Governor’s slow reopening process is not an adequate response to the economic challenge facing North Carolina.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs refuted the argument that Medicaid expansion improves health outcomes and hospital finances.
- The Pioneer Institute argued sensible police reform includes changing qualified immunity laws.
- The Platte Institute highlighted how Nebraska’s hospitality workforce is 28% smaller than one year ago.
- In The National Interest, the Reason Foundation asserted policymakers are wrong to use the coronavirus crisis to ban vaping.
- The Show-Me Institute considered what type of education parents will want for their children in the fall.
- In RealClearPolitics, the Texas Public Policy Foundation advised against a federal bailout of profligate states. Throwing more money at fiscally irresponsible states would only encourage the cycle of debt and spending to continue.
Virtual Events &
John Locke Foundation: Carolina Rebound Virtual Town Hall: Health Care
July 1, 2020
Mackinac Center: Seven Principles of Sound Environmental Policy: How can markets help protect our natural environment
June 30, 2020