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).
- On September 9, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court heard the Mackinac Center’s lawsuit challenging the Michigan Governor’s executive orders. Watch the entire oral argument here.
- Grab some popcorn! The new documentary from the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and Save Our States, Safeguard: An Electoral College College Story, is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
- Washington Policy Center has a new website hub for their specialized free-market blog content.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear an original lawsuit from Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which challenges a school closure order in Dane County. While the case is under review, the Court has issued a temporary injunction giving Dane Country schools the option to conduct in-persons classes.
This Week on SPN.org
- The Texas Commissioner of Education approved eight new Generation Twenty-Five charter schools, to begin operation in the 2021-22 school year. The Texas Public Policy Foundation noted how the move is encouraging efficient, innovative new actors while simultaneously encouraging efficiency and achievement in traditional public schools.
- Bills authorizing new corporate welfare in Michigan are now getting regular bipartisan opposition. The Mackinac Center noted the legislators who kept business subsidies off the voting board should be applauded.
- The City of Omaha is forgiving late fees on restaurant tax payments due from March through the end of 2020. The Platte Institute applauded the move and noted it is a commonsense approach to provide some much-needed economic relief to local area businesses.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
2020 Election: Comparing the Democratic and Republican Platforms
Alabama Policy Institute
Pushed to the Limit: How Federal Unemployment Insurance Boosts Have Strained State Trust Funds
Foundation for Government Accountability
National Popular Vote Violates the Colorado Constitution
Madison Park Technical Vocational High School Turnaround Update
Second Chance Parenting: Restoring Parental Rights
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Policy News from the States
- Empire Center considered what will happen if teachers go on strike.
- California Policy Center considered how many parents are disenrolling their children from the school they were originally supposed to attend this year.
- The Rio Grande Foundation reviewed the confusing debacle that is reopening New Mexico’s schools.
- The Show-Me Institute released fall 2020 educational resources for Missouri parents.
- The Washington Policy Center highlighted how the Washington Education Association president said we shouldn’t worry about how closed schools are harming children because they are all falling behind together.
- On their podcast Liberty Talk, the Wyoming Liberty Group considered the ins and outs of classical education and what’s really missing in today’s educational practices.
- From now through election day, the Civitas Institute is keeping North Carolinians informed of the latest absentee and early voting data with Vote Tracker.
- The Goldwater Institute noted election rules shouldn’t be changed in the midst of an emergency.
- The MacIver Institute considered a new poll that surveys 500 likely voters in Wisconsin target districts.
Energy and Environment
- After the Vermont House of Representatives voted in favor of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Ethan Allen Institute noted now is not the time to force Vermont taxpayers to fund a multi-million dollar initiative.
- The John Locke Foundation discussed the North Carolina Governor’s “Clean Energy Plan” and argued the proposal is an attempt to increase the price of energy and force a redistribution of wealth.
- Washington Policy Center argued forestry, not climate policy, is the key to stopping wildland fires.
State budgets and economies
- California Policy Center explained how Prop.15, a property tax increase backed by unions, will destroy small businesses.
- The Civitas Institute questioned why the North Carolina Governor’s budget proposal included increased pay for teachers but nothing for state employees like troopers or other first responders.
- The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii argued now is the time to throw a lifeline to Hawaii’s economy. Grassroot noted a big dose of economic freedom is needed to revive local businesses and get people back to work.
- The Platte Institute explained how the inheritance tax works in Nebraska.
- As teachers across the country decide whether or not to join a union, The Buckeye Institute released facts that teachers might not be aware of.
- Empire Center is in a battle to secure the complete tally of COVID-19 nursing home deaths. The New York Governor’s administration is only counting deaths in nursing home facilities, not residents who were sent to hospitals and died there. Empire submitted a request for these records and were told the information wouldn’t be available until November 5, 2020, because they were still executing a “diligent search” for the records. Empire’s blog post on the story is their most shared post to-date with over 12,000 shares in less than a week.
- Center of the American Experiment considered the consequences of increased violence in Minneapolis.
- On Coffee and Conversation, Empower Mississippi sat down with criminal justice advocate Doug Deason.
- If we want to preserve the progress we’ve made, the Josiah Bartlett Center argued we should recognize and celebrate innovators as well as laborers.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs launched a new blog series addressing the structural problems that plague our healthcare financing system and how to fix them. Read the first article in the series here.
- The Pacific Research Institute reviewed California’s worst bills of the legislative session.
- The Steamboat Institute held its annual Freedom Conference live and in-person in Beaver Creek, Colorado. See a recap of the event, including the featured speakers, complete with photos and video links, here.
- Sutherland Institute launched the new series Prescription Drugs 101. The analysis describes and decodes the prescription drug market for policymakers and the public alike to better understand the price we pay at the pharmacy. Sutherland first addressed the industry players and the economic roles they play, and—in the most recent installment—how each player makes money.
Think Tanks in the News
- In The Columbus Dispatch, The Buckeye Institute outlined why liability protection, which passed the General Assembly, is so important for Ohio’s schools.
- The Commonwealth Foundation argued to fix Philadelphia’s “bad cops” problem, we need to end special privileges for unions.
- Politico cited Empire Center’s research on per-pupil education spending in New York.
- The Ethan Allen Institute argued that some of the recent public demonstrations are undermining the foundations of our democracy.
- In Fox News Online, the Freedom Foundation reminded Americans what Labor Day is really about.
- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation argued skipping year-end tests hurts students.
- Illinois Policy Institute noted the coronavirus exposes the long-running fragility of Illinois public pensions.
- The John Locke Foundation made the case for bringing young kids back to school.
- The Mackinac Center appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” to discussed their case against the Michigan Governor’s emergency powers. In The Hill, Mackinac asserted there should be no more bailouts for state and local governments.
- In Nevada Business Magazine, the Nevada Policy Research Institute highlighted how Americans of all ideological stripes are growing more intolerant of people who don’t share their political outlook.
- Reuters quoted the Pacific Research Institute’s Dr. Henry Miller in a coronavirus vaccine article.
- In the 74, State Policy Network’s Katherine Bathgate argued if schools can’t—or don’t reopen, policymakers should help families pay for at-home teaching with CARES Act funds and Education Savings Accounts.
- With COVID-19 receding, the Texas Public Policy Foundation argued now is the time for patients to fix healthcare.
- The Washington Policy Center discussed the major changes happening in education and the potential effects on students.
Events & Opportunities
An Evening with Dennis Prager: Virtual 2020 Annual Dinner
Goldwater Institute | October 16, 2020
Making Common Sense Changes to Government Regulation
Mackinac Center | September 15, 2020
Citizenship Award Dinner featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs | September 16, 2020
Winning the Water Wars
Pacific Research Institute | September 22, 2020
20th Anniversary Liberty Ball
Rio Grande Foundation | October 24, 2020
The Constitution: A “Glorious Liberty Document” Or A Legacy Of Slavery?
Texas Public Policy Foundation | September 14, 2020
Austin & San Antonio LLC—Virtual Cocktail Hour with Former U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith
Texas Public Policy Foundation | September 16, 2020
San Antonio LLC Salon Dinner—The Rise of Millennial Socialism
Texas Public Policy Foundation | October 1, 2020
Virtual Annual Dinner
Washington Policy Center | September 25, 2020