The Leaflet: Don’t Miss The Heartland Institute at NCSL!

Published August 4, 2016

Don’t miss The Heartland Institute’s booth at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) upcoming Legislative Summit, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois on August 8–11!  Heartland will be located at booth number 521, across from EdChoice, previously known as the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Heartland will be at the booth from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Thursday. If you are already attending NCSL’s Legislative Summit and will be in Chicago on Sunday, August 7, Heartland invites you to attend its Summer Emerging Issues Forum (EIF), located at the beautiful Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel.

Heartland is excited to host at its EIF event, where state elected officials from across the country will meet with policy experts to discuss some of the most important issues facing the states today and in the future. Legislators from Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin have already registered, and we currently have room for just a few more attendees. Sign up before it’s too late!

Registration and attendance are free for elected officials, spouses, and legislative staff members. You can register for the event here. If you are a current member of Heartland’s Legislative Forum or become one today, you are eligible to receive a travel scholarship worth up to $350 for this event.

Additionally, next month, The Heartland Institute will celebrate its 32nd anniversary with a reception and dinner on Thursday, September 15, 2016, at The Cotillion, a fine banquet hall in Palatine, Illinois. Our keynote speaker will be political satirist and author P.J. O’Rourke, who will deliver an incisive and funny address about the 2016 election and the state of politics and culture in America today. We invite any lawmakers interested in attending to contact Nathan Makla at [email protected]

What We’re Working On

Budget & Tax
Policy Study: Why the United States Has Suffered the Worst Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression
Nearly nine years ago, in December 2007, the United States fell into a recession from which many Americans believe it has yet to recover. If the current recovery were as strong as the average of prior recoveries, the United States would have six million more jobs today, and the average U.S. family would have $17,000 more in annual income. In this Policy Brief, Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara explains why this economic recovery has been arguably weak, as well as why have we seen soaring poverty, declining real incomes, and skyrocketing inequality. “President Obama’s decision to dredge up failed, illogical, proven-wrong Keynesian economics, rightly left for dead more than 30 years ago, failed to generate any significant economic recovery. It only reignited the threat of runaway federal spending, deficits, and debt,” wrote Ferrara. Read more

Funding Education Choice: Jason Bedrick
In this presentation at The Heartland Institute’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center, Cato Institute Policy Analyst Jason Bedrick explains how your tax dollars can be used more efficiently to educate your children and grandchildren. He discusses the use of vouchers, education savings accounts, and other education-funding options. Bedrick earned his master’s degree in public policy, which he earned with a focus on education policy, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His thesis, titled “Choosing to Learn,” assessed the scholarship tax-credit programs operating in eight states by examining their impact on student performance, fiscal impact, program design, and popularity. Read more

Energy & Environment
Research & Commentary: New Mexico’s Renewable Power Mandates Are Too Costly
A study released in July 2016 by the Rio Grande Foundation argues New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have had a negative impact on state taxpayers and ratepayers, as well as on the entire state economy. The study finds New Mexico’s renewable mandate will cost state taxpayers and ratepayers over $192 million in 2016, increasing electricity prices by 6.18 percent. Losses in economic activity in 2016 due to the mandate will be over $405 million, and it will cost the state over 3,000 jobs. By 2020, electricity costs will rise to $206 million, with electricity prices increasing by 6.77 percent. Economic activity in 2020 will be reduced by $444 million, and almost 3,500 jobs will be lost. The RPS will result in 2,000 to 3,000 net jobs lost through 2040.  In this Research & Commentary, Policy Analyst Tim Benson writes, “[R]epealing renewable power mandates will raise living standards, stimulate long-term economic growth, and create a substantial increase in net jobs by lowering electricity prices.” Read more

Health Care
Georgia Will Decide ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion in 2017 Session
Georgia legislators are likely to reconsider Medicaid expansion during the next legislative session, Ben Johnson writes in Health Care News. Johnson reports state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), the chair of the Georgia Senate Health and Human Services Committee, has indicated she will reconsider Medicaid expansion.

In this article, Johnson speaks with several free-market health care reformers who oppose Medicaid expansion, especially the Arkansas expansion model Georgia’s expansion would likely be modeled after. “As a result of lax accountability and transparency, the Arkansas private option expansion waiver was approved in direct violation of the [Health and Human Services] Department’s requirement that Medicaid expansion under the waiver process be budget-neutral,” state Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) said in Johnson’s article. “It has certainly not been budget-neutral.” Read more

From Our Free-Market Friends
Washington Policy Center Releases New Edition of Annual Policy Guide
The Washington Policy Center recently released a new edition of its annual Washington State Policy Guide. This is the fifth edition of the Washington Policy Center’s highly praised guide, which was written by Vice President for Research Paul Guppy. The guide provides updated information that covers a wide range of important issues facing Washington State, including budget and taxes, the environment, agriculture, health care, labor reform, small businesses, and transportation. Washington state Sen. Andy Hill (R-Kirkland) praises the guide, stating, “I’ve drawn on the Policy Guide both as an uninformed candidate and now as a seasoned legislator. It’s a must-read and a must-have for all legislators and candidates!” Read more