April 2, 2022
In 2020, 1-year-old Olivia Riley and her younger sister Keira were diagnosed with an extremely rare and fatal brain disease that robs patients of their ability to walk and talk, and eventually their life.
It was an unthinkable situation for the Riley family. But as Olivia and Keira’s mom, Kendra, shares in a new Goldwater Institute video and with Fox News, the opportunity to try a treatment tailored to her own genetic makeup gave young Keira another chance at life. However, they had to travel across the world to obtain this needed care—and now, Kendra and her family are speaking out in favor of the Goldwater Institute’s Right to Try for Individualized Treatments (Right to Try 2.0), a law that would ensure families can access potentially lifesaving, personalized treatments right here at home.
“What we’ve been through to save our daughter’s life is not something I want another family to have to go through,” Kendra tells Fox News. “I want other families to have that ability to have that one option and not have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and move across the globe to get it.”
Local governments can’t just ignore the Arizona Constitution and hand out millions in taxpayer subsidies to private companies whenever they feel like it. But that’s exactly what Pima County did when it effectively gave away $15 million to World View Enterprises, a company that wanted to send tourists to space in hot air balloons, Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur argued before the Arizona Court of Appeals – Division II this week.
The Arizona Constitution’s gift clause is clear, Sandefur told the court: “Absolutely never, under any pretext, or in any form, may the government subsidize private businesses with public taxpayer resources.”
But Pima County leaders didn’t want to follow this rule. “This isn’t a situation where you have…a broadly applicable program that anybody can apply to,” Sandefur said. “This is a situation where the county pre-selected this entity, went to the entity, and said, ‘Here’s a bundle of benefits that we can give you. Let’s find a way to make this work in order to front-end the capitalization of your operations.’ That’s the definition of subsidy.”
Watch Sandefur argue the case here.
Just days after the Arizona State Senate passed Goldwater’s landmark Academic Transparency Act, policymakers in Florida chalked up another victory over the nation’s teachers unions, with Governor Ron DeSantis signing new legislation that advances online curriculum transparency in K-12 schools.
HB 1467, which overwhelmingly passed both chambers of the Florida legislature, requires that each school district “publish on its website, in a searchable format prescribed by the department, a list of all instructional materials,” so that parents and the public can see what’s being included in kids’ classroom learning. It comes as parents nationwide demand academic transparency—a concept that polling shows 84 percent of American voters support.
“Partnering with parent and policy organizations across the country, Goldwater has helped lead the charge to ensure that parents can easily identify the specific learning materials going into classroom instruction before they are forced to enroll their student,” Goldwater’s Matt Beienburg, Director of the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy and Director of Education Policy, writes at In Defense of Liberty. “With the proliferation of ideologically motivated curriculum programming, empowering parents with this ability is more important than ever.”
Read more at In Defense of Liberty.