Posts Tagged ‘state sovereignty’
October 24th, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Video: The Forgotten Amendment
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In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino questions what limits exist on the federal government and the importance of state and local sovereignty as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

July 12th, 2013 at 11:07 am
Podcast: The EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty
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In an interview with CFIF, William Yeatman, Assistant Director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, discusses the Obama Administration’s climate agenda, its all-out war on coal, the Keystone Pipeline project and the EPA’s assault on state sovereignty.

Listen to the interview here.

September 14th, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Video: The War on Federalism
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In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the erosion of states’ rights, highlighting recent instances of Executive Branch attempts to expand federal power at the expense of state sovereignty.

August 23rd, 2012 at 1:12 pm
In Indiana, an Education Success Story
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Here at the Center for Individual Freedom, we recently launched a State Sovereignty Project that aims to encourage states to resist Washington’s encroachment on their constitutionally-protected powers. While resisting federal overreach is, in and of itself, a worthy pursuit, it becomes even more valuable when the states then use that freedom to enact major public policy innovations.

As I’ve noted here before, one of the areas where that charge is being met with the most vigor is in education reform, where a handful of Republican governors are transforming the way we think about public schools. One of the leading lights of this crusade has been Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, who successfully pushed legislation providing for the sweeping use of school vouchers in the Hoosier State. As a recent profile by The Economist notes, he’s getting results:

The voucher scheme, potentially the biggest in America, was set up a year ago as part of a big package of educational reforms led by Indiana’s governor, Mitch Daniels, and his superintendent of schools. These include teacher evaluations that take student performance into account, giving school heads more autonomy and encouraging the growth of charter schools. Jeanne Allen, president of the Centre for Education Reform, a Washington-based advocacy group, says the reforms are unique because Indiana has looked at education reform in its “totality”, rather than taking a piecemeal approach as many other states have done.

The Indiana scheme has allayed fears that vouchers will not reach their target audience of low-income families. In the first year about 85-90% of children receiving them have come from households that qualify for free school lunches. Moderate-income families can receive a voucher with a lower value. … Indiana’s philosophy of promoting choice has also extended to making it possible for students to apply to any public school—including those outside the school district in which the child lives. And some signs suggest greater choice is having a positive effect in Indiana. For one thing, some public schools have started to compete for students. They are advertising their educational prowess directly to parents, through billboard signs on highways, mailing campaigns and clothes carrying slogans. Schools are trying to make themselves more attractive to students, for example by buying iPads.

All well and good, but we can already hear the skeptics saying that competing for students isn’t the same as generating better results. Well …

The reforms have had already phenomenal results, according to Mrs Allen. Tony Bennett, the superintendent of public instruction in Indiana, arrived in 2009. Every student performance indicator has improved he says and over the last two years the state has ranked second in the country for achievement on college-level courses taken in high school. Graduation rates from high school are at an all-time high.

Competition is working intra-state in Indiana. Now, it falls to federalism to get it to work inter-state. If the Hoosier State keeps up the progress, it won’t be long before the nation’s education laggards start to realize that they could improve their results by following Indianapolis’ lead. No such comparisons would have been possible had education reform been imposed top-down from Washington. That’s one more reason to defend the Tenth Amendment.

August 17th, 2012 at 9:13 am
Video: Heroes of Federalism
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As part of CFIF’s ongoing State Sovereignty Project, Renee Giachino this week shines a spotlight on Heroes of Federalism.

August 7th, 2012 at 10:40 am
CFIF Launches Enhanced State Sovereignty Project

Yesterday, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”) launched a State Sovereignty Project devoted to persuading all 50 states to aggressively exercise their authority to serve as a check on the ever-growing and often extra-constitutional power of the federal government.

The project, which builds on CFIF’s existing work over the last several years in this area, focuses a grassroots-driven approach to encourage governmental authorities closest to the people – governors, state and local legislatures, state attorneys general and other state constitutional officers – to reclaim and exercise the structural powers granted to them by the U.S. Constitution as a bulwark against federal encroachments on state sovereignty and erosion of the individual liberties of the people they serve.  Specifically, CFIF will employ and enhance its numerous forms of paid advertising, earned media, social media and editorial materials, among other methods, as part of an ongoing broad education effort to promote localized grassroots activism.

Read the press release here.

Below is a sampling of CFIF’s recent work in support of the project’s goals:

November 12th, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Will ObamaCare Force States to Drop Medicaid?

On today’s Foundry blog at the Heritage Foundation there is a crisp analysis of the cost-cutting decisions being weighed by states threatened with billions in rising health care costs under ObamaCare.  With a massive, mandatory expansion of Medicaid rolls beginning in 2014, state budget writers are seriously considering dropping out of the Medicaid program in order to avoid bankrupting their treasuries.

Granted, it’s outrageous that the liberal elites running Washington, D.C. are forcing state governments to spend more of their taxpayers’ money on health care.  After all, the States didn’t get to vote on ObamaCare.  But too often in this debate there’s a simple – though difficult – solution that up until now hasn’t been mentioned.

Opt out.  The only way the federal government can dictate spending and policy decisions to the states is if the states agree to the terms.  Those terms are buried in the fine print of federal programs that condition receipt of federal money on compliance with federal policies.  Like dramatically increasing Medicaid rolls.

Though opting out of Medicaid will be difficult because it also means losing the matching funds that come with it, the renewed control over a state’s budget should give state legislators much more room to maneuver during this era of dwindling tax receipts.  Governments, like individuals, need options.  Opting out of Medicaid is an important first step to regaining state sovereignty.