When Merita Kraya escaped communism in Albania 30 years ago, she never imagined she would be facing criminal charges for legally operating her business in the United States. Yet after the coronavirus outbreak, that’s exactly what happened.

Merita has operated Euro Pizza Cafe in Fountain Hills for more than 20 years. Ever since the start of the pandemic, Merita scrupulously complied with the state’s new safety requirements—not to mention repeated demands by local law enforcement. But nevertheless, she was issued a criminal citation for allegedly violating the Governor’s executive order. The Goldwater Institute’s American Freedom Network has helped Merita get connected with an attorney who can help protect her freedom—and ensure justice is done. Read more about the story here.

Goldwater Institute Launches Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy

The Goldwater Institute has a new avenue to defend our founding principles and instill those values into our next generation of Americans—the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy.

In what is the largest gift in the Goldwater Institute’s history, Barbara and Logan Van Sittert have generously funded this permanent center—the second of its kind at the Institute. Thanks to the Van Sitterts’ vision, the Goldwater Institute will be able to greatly expand its work in defending constitutional rights and promoting an understanding, appreciation, and support for the U.S. Constitution.

Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches said that the Van Sitterts’ gift will have a tremendous impact in Arizona and across the country for generations to come. “The Goldwater Institute is proud to be home to the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy, and we are eager to begin the hard work of realizing Barbara and Logan’s vision for a strong, free, and prosperous America.” Riches said.

Read more about the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy here.

Missouri Passes Goldwater Bill to Break Down Barriers to Work

This week, Missouri took an important step toward making it easier for individuals to get to work by becoming the first state in the Midwest to pass legislation to universally recognize out-of-state occupational licenses.

Unfortunately, one in four jobs in America requires an occupational license—a government permission slip to work. Licensure impacts a variety of occupations, including barbers, real estate agents, florists, interior designers, physicians, tree trimmers, and mechanical engineers, among others. In many states, out-of-state applicants are forced to spend extra time and money to complete additional testing or training requirements just to be re-licensed to do the same job they’ve already been doing. 

The new law will be a boon for the state’s workers, families, and employers. Passed by the legislature and awaiting the signature of Governor Mike Parson, this important reform builds on landmark legislation first passed in Arizona in 2019 and adopts additional elements of the Goldwater Institute’s Breaking Down Barriers to Work Act. Read more about Missouri’s efforts here.

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