The State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF) firmly believes that real government reform, innovative policy changes, and the big ideas that will solve America's problems are going to be found in state capitols and not Washington, D.C. As has been the case for several years, there is grid-lock in Washington, and Federal government spending and regulation are out of control, while our country's problems continue to be unaddressed by Washington. Contrast this with the states, who are getting things done -- some better than others. America is at its most prosperous and productive when there is limited government, less spending, less taxes, less dictation from Washington, and less encroachment into the states.
The SGLF will promote innovative reforms advocated by our conservative elected leaders and defend them when the special interest proponents of the status quo attack these elected leaders.
The SGLF is dedicated to educating policymakers and the public about the benefits of smaller government, lower taxes, balanced budgets, and efficiency in governing.
The SGLF is a 501 (c)(4) social welfare organization affiliated with the Republican State Leadership Committee- home to RLGA, RAGA, RSSC, and the RLCC.
Legislation would require consent for union member fee collections in Missouri
The 85-69 vote in the Republican-led House was three greater than the minimum number needed to pass legislation and 24 votes short of a two-thirds majority that would be needed for a veto override, should Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon reject the bill. The Senate passed the same version of the bill earlier this year. Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, said the bill would protect the rights of individual union members. Other supporters argued that giving members a choice to opt-in to automatic paycheck deductions allows them to play a more active role in the organization's political activities.
U.S. Senators Block Committee Vote of EPA Administrator Nominee
"A few weeks ago, four state attorneys general asked that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Gina McCarthy show transparency and answer a number of important questions regarding the EPA and her tenure at the agency. Yesterday, in light of her continued intransigence, U.S. senators boycotted a vote on her nomination. We hope that rather than further refusal to cooperate, Ms. McCarthy will provide answers to the questions being asked by both state and federal officeholders." - SGLF Executive Director Chris Jankowski
RI House panel to consider proposed manufacturing jobs incentive program
Electric Boat, a submarine maker with a manufacturing facility at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, has said it is supportive of the measure, even though it is not expected to testify Thursday. "We support this bill based on the effect it would have on our efforts to control costs for our customer, the United States Navy, as well as the effect it would have on economic development and job creation in Rhode Island," Robert A. Hamilton, Electric Boat's communications director, said in a statement.
Party line votes on Senate panel to change voter ID, registration laws
Committee Chairman David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said although the specific reference to a student ID is removed under his voter ID amendment, it would allow state university system student IDs to be used under a broad requirement that the would-be voters produce "a nondriver's identification card issued by" a "department, agency or office of any state." Boutin said he believed the state university system is an agency of the state under the bill. Private student college IDs, such as for Dartmouth College, would also likely be allowed under his amendment, he said, but the decision would be at the discretion of the local elected officials at the polling place. Leaving clear reference to students IDs in the law, he said, "might cause concern" among some Senate Republicans. "It's the art of compromise," he said. "I'm confident moderators will do the right thing." As recommended by the committee Wednesday, the bill would repeal the moderators' discretion to authorize forms of identification they deem "legitimate" on Sept. 1, 2015 and revert to a strict, four-item list. But Boutin said that provision was an oversight and he will introduce a floor amendment when the bill goes to the Senate to make the moderators' discretionary authority permanent.
GOP: ObamaCare compliance burden nears 190 million hours
"Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from spending time with family, growing a business and creating jobs, or caring for patients," House Republicans said in a release. Some of the 190 million hours will fall to insurance companies, some to doctors and hospitals, and some to individuals — the total represents all of the work required under all of the regulations implementing some part of ObamaCare. Some of the most burdensome provisions include changes to Medicaid eligibility, mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant menus and tax credits to help small businesses pay for health insurance.
Iowa Senate rejects voter ID proposal
Sen. Robert Dvorsky, D-Coralville, strongly objected to the amendment. “This is a vote suppression bill, clear and simple,” Dvorsky said, criticizing Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz for his efforts to detect voter fraud. “This does nothing to move voting forward in Iowa. … I think it is one of the worst, cynical things that you could run.” Ernst disagreed with Dvorsky, saying her proposal was not aimed at voter suppression. “There have been cases of voter fraud in Iowa, not many, but those cases of voter fraud can determine an election. What we don’t know is how many cases of voter fraud go undetected because we are not using voter identification,” Ernst said.
Bill would loosen cap on Mass. charter schools
Medicaid expansion remains big question mark as Michigan budget debate continues
LANSING, MI -- Michigan lawmakers have worked quickly on budget bills for next fiscal year, with one notable exception: The Senate has yet to consider the Department of Community Health budget, which leaves open the question of whether the state will accept and appropriate federal funds to expand Medicaid, as proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Advancing a bill without funds for expansion, as the House has done, could derail the proposal, while inclusion could set up a point of debate between the chambers to be ironed out in coming weeks. Snyder is among a handful of Republican governors across the country who have backed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which seeks to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
Report: Fracking would boost income levels upstate
“By our count, there are immediate and concrete benefits in hydrofracturing wells: more money in the pockets of the people, more tax revenue for the state,” the report reads. “These data deserve close attention and consideration as New York State confronts its decision.” The Empire Center is the state-centric branch of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a business-backed think tank. The report examines Pennsylvania economic data from 2007 through 2011 and extrapolates it to New York, finding generally that the counties that saw the most high-volume wells saw the most rapid income growth. Those counties are mostly in the northeast and southwest corners of Pennsylvania.
Report: Fracking would boost income levels upstate
2 bills in N.C. House would bolster charter schools
The first bill would allow local school boards to approve charters and convert their own schools to a charter format. Under existing law, local boards can grant preliminary approval, but ultimate authority lies with the State Board of Education. The program would start on a trial run of up to 10 districts that would maintain oversight of the charters. The second bill would allow districts to create schools operating under special curricula, budgets and admissions criteria. That’s currently possible only with failing district schools. The so-called satellite schools would be able to experiment with different pay models, and districts could petition the State Board to waive the requirement that at least 50 percent of the school’s staff hold instructional certifications.
Alabama's private schools don't want state involvement (update)
The Legislature passed the Alabama Accountability Act on Feb. 28. It provides tax credits to parents who chose to send their children to a private school or non-failing public school rather than a public school rated as failing. It also gives tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to organizations that will provide scholarships for children from low-income families who can't afford private school tuition even though their children qualify to move from failing public schools. Bills have been offered in the legislative session to clear up some questions about the new law. One of the architects of the new law, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, has written a bill to make several changes. One provision that he said he put in to assure quality has raised concerns among private school organizations. It says private schools accepting scholarships would have to administer state achievement tests or nationally recognized tests to measure learning in math and language arts by participating students.
Budget deal cuts some Louisiana tax exemptions by $329 million, calls for $106 million in cuts
The $100 million in state budget cuts would come from specific areas: about $9.4 million would be saved by curtailing out-of-state travel for conferences and a reduction in spending on office supplies; $18.6 million would be taken out of the budget for positions that are now vacant; $25.3 million would come from a 10 percent reduction in state contracts and about $52.4 million would come from new spending proposed in the governor's budget above what was spent in the current year.
Senate plan would expand sales tax, lower North Carolina rates
The unveiling of the chamber’s plan is a key moment in this year’s session because House and Senate Republican leaders and new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory have made tax reform a leading priority. Berger labeled the “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act of 2013” as the “largest tax cut in state history” at more than $1 billion. But expanding the sales tax will mean many residents would have to pay more in sales taxes. Democratic lawmakers and governors have talked over the past two decades about reworking the tax code to capture more consumer transactions and services while lowering income tax rates. But their efforts failed because they couldn’t work out details or interest groups put up roadblocks. Berger said he’s committed to making changes.
Pa. House passes business tax reform bill
Republicans say it's a way to make the state more competitive, while Democrats are calling it a massive giveaway to big corporations. The Delaware loophole refers to a practice where companies shield revenues from state taxes by setting up a holding company for its intangible assets in a lower tax state, often Delaware.
Division lingers in Iowa Legislature on how best to evaluate teachers
Debate on using test scores is holding up reform bill
Many Democrats and teachers union leaders say they fear the legislation could be used to judge educators solely on their students’ standardized test scores. That strategy has proven ineffective in other states and has created tension between teachers and administrators in some districts, they say. But Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass insists that’s not the goal of proposals introduced by Gov. Terry Branstad and House Republicans. The bill now under review in a conference committee calls for student growth to be one of multiple measures gauging teacher effectiveness.
Obama: There Will Be “Bumps” and “Glitches” in Obamacare
Moreover, with just six months until open enrollment for the exchanges begins, the poll found that “about half the public says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family, a share that rises among the uninsured and low-income households”—the two groups the law is most likely to benefit. In addition, another story about the harmful effects of Obamacare’s employer mandate is in the news. The employer mandate forces all employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer government-approved health coverage or pay a penalty. To avoid the cost of coverage and the penalty, many employers are increasingly shifting their full-time workers to part time. As NPR reports, Rob Wilson, president of the temp agency Employco said it is impacting his business too, “Instead of saying, ‘I want one person for 40 hours a week,’ [employers are saying], ‘I’ll take two people for 20 hours or 25 hours a week.’”
Bullock signs main Montana budget bill after line-item vetoes
“I asked the Legislature to pass a budget that didn’t spend more than we take in and that left $300 million cash in the bank for a rainy day. Unfortunately, they didn’t,” Bullock said in a statement. “Therefore, I’ve had to veto and line-item veto more bills than I would have liked to, in order to keep the state’s financial position strong.” The line-item veto in the main budget bill did not ax any particularly large programs. One move would strike the 6 percent pay raise that Republican lawmakers gave to game wardens who broke with other union workers and backed Bullock’s Republican opponent.
Broader Unemployment Rate Ticks Up
Immigration resolution in House gets Republican support
“Jason has engaged in a good faith dialogue on this issue and has brought much-needed leadership on the Republican side,” Anchia said. “It is this type of bipartisan collaboration that gets things done in Austin and that is needed more in Washington, D.C.” The resolution takes a middle-of-the-road, even conservative, approach, the Democrats said. Anchia and Hernandez Luna borrowed language from the Texas Federation of Republican Women, which in January called for allowing young people in the country illegally to earn legal status or citizenship when they meet certain standards, such as English fluency.
Part-timers to lose pay amid health act's new math
Some workers are having their hours cut so employers won't have to cover them under Obamacare. But many will benefit from the healthcare law's premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion.
Senate expected to consider education budget on Tuesday
Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, chairman of the committee, had supported the 1 percent raise. “I feel like the 1 percent with the 1 percent bonus would be more conservative with all the unknowns we’re dealing with,” Pittman said. But Pittman said there was strong support in the Senate for the 2 percent raise and said that would give it the best chance to pass the Senate. Education employees last received a cost of living raise in fiscal year 2008. Gov. Robert Bentley had proposed a 2.5 percent raise for education employees. The budget bill, HB166 by Rep. Jay Love, R-Montgomery, would appropriate $5.76 billion from the Education Trust Fund for public schools, colleges and other entities for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
GOP legislators plan right-to-work bills
Kasich, Republican leaders mum on support
Kasich has since refused to support any right-to-work efforts in Ohio — a bid to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot is proceeding slowly — and Democrats were quick to pounce on news of the new bills. But Kasich wouldn’t commit one way or the other on the latest GOP effort. “There have been 300 bills introduced so far this year,” said Rob Nichols, Kasich’s spokesman. “ We don’t weigh in on all of them, and it would be premature to do so on these.“The governor has a big agenda that’s moving through the legislature, and he continues to work on it.” State Reps. Ron Maag of Lebanon and Kristina Roegner of Hudson will hold a news conference today announcing their intentions.
Uncertainty Still Clouds Health Care Law
There is even confusion about whether the health care law is still, in fact, law. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey [PDF] conducted in April found that 41 percent of American adults did not know that the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. A separate tracking survey conducted by Kaiser, which has done far more surveys on health care than any other polling organization, found that roughly half of American adults said they did not have enough information about the law to understand how it will affect them. The tracking poll found that there had actually been an increase in the percentage of American adults with no opinion about the health care law.