- The Georgia Public Policy Foundation named Keara Vickers as Communications Director. Vickers was previously Associate Director for Advancement Communications at Carnegie Mellon University.
- The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced that two federal class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of airline employees based in Austin, Texas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida are moving forward to US Courts of Appeals. The cases challenge union policies that automatically direct a portion of employee salaries toward union political activity unless a worker explicitly objects every year.
- The Sutherland Institute announced Aaron Taylor is joining the team as its new Executive Vice President. Taylor joined Sutherland earlier in 2020 after working in Washington, DC, for almost a decade. He has worked in public policy, both in the private sector and in the US Capitol.
- The Taxpayers Protection Alliance announced the arrival of Patrick Hedger as its new Vice President of Policy. Prior to joining TPA, Patrick served as Research Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute where he focused on internet and telecommunications policy.
This Week on SPN.org
- A judge in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Pennsylvania Governor’s business shutdown order (and waiver process) and stay-at-home order violated the US Constitution. The Commonwealth Foundation noted the ruling is a reminder that the liberties we enjoy thanks to the Constitution can prevail even amid the fog of fear caused by an emergency.
- The Pennsylvania House passed a bill that will help make healthcare more affordable and accessible. The bill would extend for 90 days the suspension of certain bureaucratic regulations holding back Pennsylvania’s health system—and establish a panel to determine which counterproductive regulations should be eliminated for good. Commonwealth Foundation celebrated the bill and noted this is an opportunity for lawmakers to streamline Pennsylvania’s current healthcare system and plan for cost savings.
- The Goldwater Institute is headed to the Arizona Supreme Court! The Court announced it will hear two cases brought by Goldwater, involving the government’s power to tax and to spend.
- The North Carolina Governor signed legislation that advances school choice in the Tar Heel State. The legislation affords additional seats for North Carolina’s two virtual charter schools and three private school choice programs. It also expands eligibility limits for the Opportunity Scholarship Program and lifts the cap on kindergarten and first-grade enrollment. The Civitas Institute and John Locke Foundation applauded the move.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
The 2020 Census and Alabama
Alabama Policy Institute
Prop 208 Would Cause Massive Job Loss and Cuts to Critical Services
2020 Amendment Guide
James Madison Institute
Where is the Money Going? Tracking COVID-19 Relief Funds in Nebraska
A Contract for Public Safety: A Model for the 21st Century
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Policy News from the States
Criminal justice reform
- The Georgia Center for Opportunity reviewed how to reduce recidivism and increase community productivity in the criminal justice system.
- The Mackinac Center encouraged Michigan lawmakers to support bills to reduce overcriminalization.
- The Rio Grande Foundation argued New Mexico should not cut programming at corrections facilities.
- Bluegrass Institute highlighted how Kentucky isn’t doing a good job of preparing elementary school teachers to teach reading.
- Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy argued that because private schools receive no state funding, they should not have the same reopening restrictions as public schools.
- Cascade Policy Institute recommended the Oregon Legislature offer parents a refund if they leave the public school system.
- Empower Mississippi noted Mississippi school districts are leaving many students and families without a choice.
- Freedom Foundation filed suit against the California Governor on behalf of California parents and schoolchildren. The complaint alleges the school policy of having students in class part-time denies students their constitutional right to a quality education as enshrined in the California Constitution. Several media outlets, including the Epoch Times and The Federalist, covered the lawsuit. Freedom Foundation’s Aaron Withe discussed the lawsuit on One America News Network.
- The Palmetto Promise Institute highlighted a new project from a partner organization, My SC Education. The project shares 550 stories from parents speaking out on the need for the Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grants program.
- On “The Learning Curve,” a podcast from the Pioneer Institute, Pioneer discussed microschooling and the future of K-12 education.
- The Show-Me Institute recommended Missouri allow parents to access a portion of their children’s state education funding to either pay for attendance at a microschool or to pool with other parents to create one of their own.
- Civitas Institute shared nine brilliant quotes for Constitution Day.
- Ethan Allen Institute highlighted one of the key provisions in the Constitution: the separation of powers among the three branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial.
- The Goldwater Institute noted that while we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17, it’s worth remembering that every day is Constitution Day. Or can be.
- The John Locke Foundation released a Constitution week quiz. Find out how well you know your federal and state constitutions here.
- Sutherland Institute highlighted a study that finds Americans know more about the Constitution in 2020.
- Tax Education Foundation of Iowa considered Calvin Coolidge’s commitment to the Constitution and the principles of the American Founding.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee pointed out Nashville Metro Council refuses to make sacrifices that they are asking their own constituents to make.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs considered Oklahoma lawmakers’ review of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- On the Pioneer Institute’s podcast, “Hubwonk,” Pioneer discussed the lawsuit against the Massachusetts Governor’s executive orders.
- The Yankee Institute commented on a lawsuit that challenges the Connecticut Governor’s emergency powers.
Energy and environment
- California Policy Center argued the wildfires are the direct result of policies put in place by misguided environmentalists.
- Josiah Bartlett Center noted the wrong policies could bring California’s rolling blackouts to New Hampshire.
- The Mackinac Center considered what a Biden-Harris presidency would mean for the future of energy.
- On a new episode of “Tipping Point New Mexico,” the Rio Grande Foundation discussed the ongoing wildfires in California with a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter.
- The Washington Policy Center noted the focus on climate is undermining the ability to act on healthy forests.
- The Yankee Institute explained why Connecticut’s offshore wind deals may drive up electricity costs for consumers.
State budgets and spending
- Bluegrass Institute explained what’s really going on with Kentucky’s budget shortfall.
- Empire Center reviewed New York’s fiscal situation and noted the state has dug itself into its deepest hole on record.
- Civitas Institute refuted the argument that North Carolina’s conservative tax reforms over the last several years have starved state government of funding.
- Kansas Policy Institute argued federal bailouts of state budgets hasten fiscal disaster.
- The Reason Foundation considered if a federal loan program could help fix ailing state pension plans.
- The John Locke Foundation provided an update on North Carolina’s FY2021 budget.
- Center of the American Experiment argued regulation reform can help ease the childcare crisis in Minnesota.
- In a new video, the Foundation for Government Accountability explained the importance of the price transparency in healthcare.
- The John Locke Foundation reviewed the statewide implications of a hospital’s union ballot initiative.
- Libertas Institute reviewed the history of anti-trust litigation in the United States and argued against politicizing the current Google anti-trust cases in the Senate.
- The Pelican Institute highlighted how Louisiana job numbers are still falling well behind the rest of the nation.
- Center of the American Experiment explained how removing occupational licenses will help Minnesotans and the economy.
- The Garden State Initiative reviewed the jobs report for August 2020.
- The Georgia Center for Opportunity highlighted a new study that finds welfare cliffs exist.
- The Goldwater Institute highlighted how California gyms continue to feel the crunch under the coronavirus lockdown.
- The Pacific Research Institute highlighted the good bills out of California’s recent legislative session—including small business relief and more autonomy for nurse practitioners.
Think Tanks in the News
- The Rick Jensen Show interviewed the Caesar Rodney Institute about masks in sports. CRI also discussed the new bipartisan deal on refrigerants with Delaware Business Now.
- California Policy Center discussed the California wildfires and climate change on KFI Radio.
- The Cardinal Institute encouraged policymakers to reform asset forfeiture laws in West Virginia.
- In The Hill, the Foundation for Government Accountability encouraged Congress to resist calls to revive the boost in unemployment benefits.
- The Georgia Center for Opportunity asserted it’stime for Georgia to reign in policing for profit.
- The Illinois Policy Institute argued the Illinois House Speaker’s corruption nurtured the state’s pension debt.
- The John Locke Foundation outlined three reasons why state officials need to tamp down on spending to accumulate additional money in the bank.
- In The Hill, the Mackinac Center noted states need prepared, predictable policies before the next pandemic.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs pointed out the Electoral College protects minority rights.
- In Forbes, the Pacific Research Institute argued the president’s drug pricing order is a costly mistake.
- On KOB TV, the Rio Grande Foundation discussed the role of a new police chief for Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Events & Opportunities
Creating Robust Communities Through Work & Economic Opportunity
John Locke Foundation | September 21, 2020
State Economic Development Programs: Why Feed Sparrows Through a Horse?
Mackinac Center | September 22, 2020
Winning the Water Wars
Pacific Research Institute | September 22, 2020
Virtual Annual Dinner
Washington Policy Center | September 25, 2020
Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk
John Locke Foundation | September 28, 2020
Federal Policy (non) Dinner with John McLaughlin
Thomas Jefferson Institute | September 30, 2020
San Antonio LLC Salon Dinner—The Rise of Millennial Socialism
Texas Public Policy Foundation | October 1, 2020
Gala at Home: The William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner
National Review Institute | October 5, 2020
An Evening with Dennis Prager: Virtual 2020 Annual Dinner
Goldwater Institute | October 16, 2020
20th Anniversary Liberty Ball
Rio Grande Foundation | October 24, 2020