The Leaflet – Missed Heartland’s Emerging Issues Forum-Midwest? Watch It Online!

Published October 29, 2015


Missed Heartland’s Emerging Issues Forum-Midwest? Watch It Online! 

On September 24, The Heartland Institute hosted the second of three regional Emerging Issues Forums (EIF) for 2015. More than 80 state elected officials and policy experts from the region attended the EIF-Midwest event. Heartland will be hosting its Emerging Issues Forum-South in Nashville, Tennessee on December 9. Space is limited. You can register for the event here!

Heartland has uploaded video from each of the four panels held during the EIF-Midwest event. If you missed these informative panels, you can watch them at Heartland’s YouTube page.

The health care panel featured Missouri state Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camden County), the American Dental Association’s Dr. Loren Feldner, and Jonathan Ingram, the research director for the Foundation for Government Accountability. The panelists discussed Medicaid expansion, the future of Obamacare after the King v. Burwell decision, and welfare reform. Video

The education panel featured Illinois state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R- DuPage County); Michael Chartier, director of state programs and government relations at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice; and Michael Novak, communications director for the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. The panelists discussed the recently passed education savings account program in Nevada and examined what some states are doing to fight back against Common Core. Video

The energy and environment panel featured Ohio state Sen. Troy Balderson (R-Morgan County), Strata Policy Executive Director Dr. Ryan Yonk, and Heartland Institute Senior Fellow James Taylor. The panelists discussed what states can do to push back against the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with such topics as renewable power mandates, EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and the federal lands issue. Video

The budget and tax panel featured OCPA Impact CEO David Bond, Wisconsin state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), and Union Conservatives Executive Director Terry Bowman. The panelists discussed how some states have successfully reformed pensions and other liabilities for public employees, as well as how to solve numerous tax problems. Video

Minnesota state Rep. Duane Quam (R-Olmsted County) praised Heartland’s event, saying, “The Emerging Issue Forum in Chicago was immensely valuable. It provided more understandable information in one day than most 3–4 day conferences.”

Budget & Tax
Research & Commentary: Ohio Right-to-Work
Ohio is considering becoming the 26th right-to-work state, a reform that would create new jobs and improve the state’s business climate and economic competitiveness. Ohio’s proposed right-to-work law would prohibit closed shops, ban fair share fees, and give workers the choice to opt out of unions and their dues. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans argues right-to-work laws create new jobs and cause population growth. Glans advises Ohio lawmakers to not give up on passing right-to-work legislation and the tremendous economic benefits it brings. Read more

Research & Commentary: Student Loan Default Rates at Iowa Community Colleges
Many young adults who do not have much interest in going to college are being shoehorned into postsecondary schools, and a new report for the Association of Community College Trustees on Iowa Community Colleges is shedding light on the deleterious effects the push to increase college enrollment is having on students. Only 31 percent of student loan borrowers left an Iowa community college with a degree, diploma, or certificate, and 36 percent of all borrowers who left without a credential defaulted on their loans. In this Research & Commentary, Policy Analyst Timothy Benson argues, “[I]nstead of pushing all students into postsecondary schools, no matter how little aptitude or desire they show for it, we should … be encouraging more of them into nontraditional schools and apprenticeship programs.” Read more

Energy & Environment
Conservative Legislators Vote to Oppose Direct Solar Sales
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which brings together conservative legislators from around the country, has approved a model resolution opposing a market-share carve-out for direct solar power sales. According to the resolution, “creating a special market for the solar power industry to sell electricity directly to consumers increases subsidies, electricity costs, and taxes while shifting costs to non-solar customers.” Individuals and businesses may already purchase solar power equipment and generate their own electricity, but James M. Taylor, senior fellow at The Heartland Institute, explains how the solar power industry is supporting market-share carve-outs that would allow it to keep ownership of the equipment – and the government subsidies given to the owners of solar power equipment – and sell solar power, rather than the solar equipment, directly to consumers. Such arrangements also allow the solar power industry to serve as a de facto utility without submitting to utility regulations. Read more

Health Care
Research & Commentary: South Dakota Medicaid Expansion
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) has proposed an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. If the Obama administration approves the plan, South Dakota will become the 31st state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. In this Research & Commentary,Policy Analyst Tim Benson argues elected officials in South Dakota and other states should consider cost-effective ways to provide health insurance to those who are truly in need. “Expanding what is already a failing program to cover people the program was never originally intended to cover will not solve any health care access problems.” Read more

Why the FCC Approach to Special Access Regulation Is All Wrong
In this Somewhat Reasonable piece, Scott Cleland, the president of Precursor LLC, argues the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) approach to special access is incorrect and that it should take the exact opposite approach. Cleland says the FCC should be price de-regulating special access, not signaling increased micro-regulation of special access rate terms and conditions. “If the FCC truly wants more competition and investment in faster broadband access for businesses, it should do what has worked in the other 96 percent of the market – de-regulate FCC special access pricing.” Read more

From Our Free Market Friends
The Trial Lawyer Underground: Covertly Lobbying the Executive Branch
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The November issue of Budget & Tax News reports on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailing the Internal Revenue Service’s failure to enact safeguards to prevent unequal compliance scrutiny of non-profit organizations. Beginning in 2010, employees of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division violated policies by singling out conservative organizations for special examination. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, says lawmakers must continue to pressure IRS to change its ways. “We are going to continue to do the oversight necessary to keep this in the minds of the American public and to make sure the IRS knows we are watching them,” he said.