The Heartland Institute is excited to announce that we are hosting two Emerging Issues Forums (EIF) for 2016 in Chicago on August 7-8 right before the National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) Legislative Summit and Orlando on December 15-17 right after the election. EIF is not affiliated with NCSL but we encourage you to extend your NCSL trip or make this an educational trip all by itself! We encourage you to attend one or both of them!
The Emerging Issues Forum brings together elected officials, policy analysts, and government affairs professionals from across the country. You will hear from leading free-market experts as we explore innovative solutions to the top public policy issues that will face the states in 2017 and beyond.
Each event will address the top issues in the areas of education, energy and environment, health care, and taxes and the economy as well as offer social media training and captivating keynote speakers.
Check out what state lawmakers said about past Emerging Issues Forums:
“The innovative ideas presented at Heartland’s Emerging Issues Forum and quality of knowledgeable speakers was incredibly helpful. The event was worthwhile. Thank you!” – Montana state Senator Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls)
Click here for more information or to register!
Registration is free for elected officials and staff and a limited number of travel scholarships and hotel rooms are available to members of Heartland’s Legislative Forum.
What We’re Working On
Budget & Tax
Research & Commentary: FDA Deeming Regulations Could Destroy Vaping Industry
On April 25, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released deeming regulations that extend FDA’s regulatory authority to include cigars, electronic cigarettes, and other tobacco and tobacco-like products. These deeming regulations create several problems the FDA needs to answer including the process of how new products enter the market and the future of the vaping industry. Linked to the review issue is the problem of the current predicate date, the grandfather date used by FDA as the starting point for tobacco products to receive enhanced review and regulation.
In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans warns legislators about the danger of not changing the predicate date. “Without changing the predicate date, most of these innovative products will never be able to make their way to the marketplace, leaving those who are looking for a less-harmful alternative to smoking with limited options. Vaping is not the same as smoking tobacco products, and many smokers use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, thereby reducing the likelihood of suffering in the future from serious tobacco-related illnesses, such as lung cancer. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have far fewer negative consequences for both vapers and bystanders, and they should not be treated the same.”
West Virginia Lawmakers Call for National Constitutional Convention
Dustin Siggins, correspondent for LifeSiteNews, writes in The Heartlander about a new effort by lawmakers in West Virginia that calls for a national constitutional convention to draft and enact a federal balanced budget amendment. Siggins speaks with several experts behind the effort, including David Guldenschuh, special counsel for the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force. “Any politician, voter, or other citizen who objectively examines our fiscal status as a country can only conclude that we are fast running out of time and gimmicks to sustain our soon-to-be $20 trillion debt,” Guldenschuh said in the article. “To ignore the deficits and our debt is to ignore the timer on a bomb ticking away beneath our home.” Read more
Policy Tip Sheet: Missouri Career & Technical Education
Skilled trades are one of the hardest occupation categories to fill for employers in the United States, as recent data suggest there are over 800,000 open jobs in the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors nationwide. U.S. employment projections indicate a majority of the new jobs that will be created over the next 10 years will likely not require the skills that a traditional four-year education provides. This is in part due to high schools and other secondary education facilities not offering adequate academic programs for current students to explore other career interests, such as programs focused on career and technical education (CTE).
Missouri has an established CTE system, as outlined by the Missouri Department of Education. Missouri’s CTE education system is made up of over 500 local education agencies, including 437 high school districts. In the 2014–15 school year, over 250,000 high school students and adults participated in career education training programs. In this Policy Tip Sheet, Government Relations Coordinator Lindsey Stroud argues, “The future economy will depend on skilled-trade careers, which are not emphasized enough in the current U.S. education system.” Read more
Energy & Environment
Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Could End Disease Transmission
Mosquitoes are responsible for the sickness and death of millions of people around the world each year, making them one of the most dangerous species on Earth, but some scientists claim they may have discovered a novel way of eliminating one commonly found type of mosquito through the introduction of a genetically modified mosquito. Oxitec, a biotech company that specializes in insect control, has developed a mosquito that produces males whose offspring die in the larvae stage, reducing the target mosquito population by more than 90 percent. In this Heartlander article Research Fellow for health policy Kenneth Artz argues “Using genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate or greatly reduce mosquito populations would be more effective than attempting to find and treat every mosquito habitat, and this strategy would have less impact on beneficial insect populations compared to widespread use of toxic pesticides.” Read more
Research & Commentary: Direct Primary Care is Not Concierge Medicine
Direct primary care has become increasingly popular for doctors and patients alike and could serve to revitalize the U.S. primary care system. Fourteen states have passed legislation that specifies direct primary agreements do not constitute insurance. Unfortunately, Hawaii has taken a different approach to direct primary care that may hinder the nascent industry. The bill harms direct primary care providers in the state by equating them to concierge medicine, a service which offers increased services but still bills a patient’s insurance carrier.
In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans argues Hawaii’s misguided regulation should serve as a lesson for other states. “Legislation needs to be carefully crafted to ensure it. Hawaii should remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to direct primary care to help revitalize the state’s primary health care system.” Read more
From Our Free-Market Friends
Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to keynote Solutions Summit in Bellevue
Washington Policy Center will host the 2016 Solutions Summit and will be one of the premier policy conferences of 2016! This event combines popular center-specific events into a short policy conference in Bellevue concluding with a national keynote lunch speaker. Gov. Bobby Jindal will keynote the conference by discussing the lessons he learned from a career in leadership and public service. The Solutions Summit will be held on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, WA. Register here