Like many other healthcare workers, Alice Smith (not her real name) is exhausted these days. A highly skilled nurse practitioner, she starts in the morning at 6am, and she doesn’t stop for the next 12 hours—she’s either treating patients with COVID-19 or teaching others how to do it. She had been semi-retired, but with the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic, Alice is back in the trenches.
Alice has been an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for decades, fighting tirelessly to enable certified nurse practitioners to practice at the top of their license—to permit them to legally provide the full spectrum of their desperately needed skills in a nation where many people don’t have access to affordable healthcare, even in the best of times. And during this current pandemic, it’s especially important that nurse practitioners be able to fully take advantage of their talents and dedication. After all, lives may depend on it.
Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program has made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of families, giving them access to tools and learning options that best fit their child’s unique needs. But over the last few years, political activists and certain members of the media have portrayed these families as bad actors seeking to cheat the system, defraud taxpayers, and undermine the solvency of public education.
But as Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes at In Defense of Liberty, a new report from the Arizona Office of the Auditor General “should finally bury this anti-ESA family narrative in the eyes of all but the most rabidly partisan.” Among other findings, the report shows how ESA parents have received unreliable information from the state Department of Education regarding ESA rules, and how there are extremely low levels of ESA misspending—as opposed to what critics say about the program.
And this is certainly not the first time that problems with the program’s administration have been revealed. The Arizona Department of Education has been withholding funds from families, threatening to remove them from the program, and constantly changing its own rules, and in response, the Goldwater Institute sued the state earlier this year to defend ESA parents’ rights in court. Watch a new Goldwater Institute video to learn how Arizona’s ESA families are fighting to give their children the education they deserve. You can learn more about these families’ stories here.
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the American economy, putting more companies out of business and more employees out of work each day, home-based businesses are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative,” writes Goldwater Institute Executive Vice President Christina Sandefur at In Defense of Liberty.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, as more Americans are confined to their homes, many are turning their attention to starting their own business. “NameSnack, an online service that helps new businesses find and register their business names, has seen an average increase in traffic of 362% each day, mostly from founders of businesses that don’t intend to work out of a separate store or office,” Sandefur writes.
And while there are more tools than ever to make it easy to work remotely, outmoded zoning regulations are making it difficult to take advantage of the opportunities those tools present. “State policymakers are being called upon to help get America back to work,” Sandefur says. “They should start by legalizing the safest and most flexible enterprise: home entrepreneurship.” Read her full post here.
As America considers how to go about re-opening its economy as part of its recovery from the coronavirus outbreak, there’s a big roadblock in its way: the powerful administrative state. Today’s administrative agencies are behemoths, essentially making and imposing laws while flouting the legislative processes set forth in our federal and state constitutions. What can be done to check this power?
This Wednesday, April 29, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur and Director of National Litigation Jon Riches will lead a special teleforum to discuss their new paper, Confronting the Administrative State: State-Based Solutions to Inject Accountability into an Unaccountable System. In the paper, Sandefur and Riches set forth promising proposals to ensure that the administrative state operates within constitutional boundaries at the state level.
It is free to join this teleforum, but space is limited. For more information, and to register for the teleforum, click here.