April 28, 2022

The Goldwater Institute is leading the nation in defending individual liberties from coast to coast by continuing to enact more innovative, pro-freedom reforms than any organization in the country. Already this year, Goldwater wrote and enacted laws that fight radical Critical Race Theory indoctrination in the classroom, ensure children get the education they deserve, save lives by putting patients first, make it easier for entrepreneurs and workers to practice their professions, and defend property rights.

Here are 10 of the biggest Goldwater legislative victories from around the nation in 2022: 

Defending America’s Classrooms from Radical Ideology

1) Goldwater is leading the nation to fight the radical indoctrination of our students and ensure parents’ right to know what’s being taught in the classroom. Following Goldwater’s lead, Florida Governor Rick DeSantis signed a new law that requires public school districts to maintain a public list of instructional materials used in the classroom, a key feature of the Goldwater Institute’s Academic Transparency Act

2) Mississippi adopted Goldwater’s anti-Critical Race Theory reform, which prohibits public schools from teaching divisive courses of instruction that promote the idea that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior to another. This reform also features an express prohibition on the use of state funds for such instruction.

Breaking Down Barriers to Work

3) The Goldwater Institute has made it easier for countless Americans to get to work by making it easier for those with occupational licenses to practice their professions when they move to a new state. West Virginia has become the latest state to adopt Goldwater’s landmark Breaking Down Barriers to Work reform. Under the law, new arrivals to the state have an expedited and improved pathway to licensure. The bill lays the groundwork for a broader, more impactful expansion and adoption of a law designed to help members of the military get to work. 

4) America needs more healthcare workers, and Goldwater is leading the effort to make it easier for skilled, trained medical professionals get to work.Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed Goldwater’s universal recognition reform to extend the benefits of out-of-state license recognition to a broader group of health care professionals. The legislation provides physicians and other medical workers entering the state with a more reliable and predictable pathway to licensure. 

5) By enacting Goldwater’s licensing reform, Virginia has made it possible to allow health care professionals to obtain a license to work based on out-of-state credentials. This reform lays the groundwork for a broader expansion of licensing reform to other professionals in the state. 

Saving Lives by Putting Patients First

6) The federal government’s outdated regulatory system prevents patients from accessing lifesaving treatments. But in Arizona, those patients gained new hope in Arizona when Governor Doug Ducey signed into law Goldwater’s Right to Try for Individualized Treatments (Right to Try 2.0). Arizona is the first state in the nation to enact this legislation, which opens the door to cutting-edge, personalized treatments that are otherwise blocked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

7) With the support of Governor Mike DeWine, Goldwater’s telemedicine reform became law in Ohio in 2022, ensuring that patients are free to choose to receive care from a variety of practitioners from the comfort of their homes. This reform will be foundational to healthcare change in Ohio as the legislature considers enacting another Goldwater Institute reform, the universal recognition of out-of-state occupational licenses. By adopting broader telemedicine regulations and allowing nonresident practitioners to become licensed easily in the state, Ohio has the opportunity to expand access to specialized care for numerous patients in the Buckeye state. (House Bill 122

Restoring Free Speech on College Campuses

8) The freedom of speech is under attack at public universities, and the Goldwater Institute has developed a law to restore this fundamental freedom. In Indiana, Governor Holcomb signed a Goldwater reform that protects students’ ability to exercise their First Amendment right on campus and prohibits public universities from establishing zones that ban such actions. It further limits the ability of public colleges to restrict expressive activities unless they meet specific and narrowly defined criteria, a limiting element at the heart of Goldwater’s reform to restore free speech on campus

9) Georgia adopted a new law that also protects free speech on college campuses. The Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act ensures that public universities provide equal opportunity for discourse and discussion across all public spaces, a core feature of Goldwater’s campus free speech reform. 

Protecting Constitutional Rights

10) Government agencies at all levels notoriously trample on individual liberties when they enact rules and apply state laws—effectively acting as unelected legislators. The Goldwater Institute is fighting back. The Tennessee legislature approved a Goldwater law that reforms the way courts review these rules which frequently impinge on a vital constitutional guarantee—the due process of law. Under this reform, Tennessee law now says that when interpreting a state statute or rule, a court must not defer to a state agency’s interpretation of the statute or rule and instead must rule de novo, as if the case were being heard for the first time. (Senate Bill 2285)

Across state legislatures, the influence of Goldwater’s reforms—based on principles that the Institute has advocated for and defended for years—is growing. Alongside coalition partners at the state and national level, Goldwater continues to work in courts, capitols, and communities to empower all Americans to live freer, happier lives.

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