In case you missed it...
Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed on Tuesday of this past week. The nomination of DeVos — a vocal advocate for expanding school choice — marked the first time a Vice President has been called on to break a tie vote during the confirmation of a cabinet pick. Advocates of educational choice see her confirmation as a big step forward toward returning to parents control over the education of their children. (Read more)
The 79th Legislative Session:
Some lawmakers in the Nevada legislature are absolutely determined to hike the state’s minimum wage law. The proposal, SB106, would increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour — with no exemption for teenagers or training positions. Lawmakers pushing the bill have said that if it is vetoed by Governor Sandoval, they will consider passing it as a proposed constitutional amendment instead, giving it a chance to go to the voters. (Read more)
It’s always important to focus on policy, rather than politics. Some self-described conservatives have released a new report titled “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends.” But looking at the plan, it is little more than a proposal for a carbon tax — the same kind of economically damaging tax proposed by the environmental lobby on numerous occasions. To give an idea of how fiscally damaging such a tax could eventually be, consider that over 80 percent of American energy consumption would be impacted by such a tax on carbon emissions. (Read more)
Two more states have passed some version of “Right to Work” laws so far this year, with many more proposals working their way through various state legislatures. With the passage of reforms in Missouri and Kentucky, a total of 28 states are now considered “Right to Work” states. The trend toward more worker freedom is so strong, even union leaders are beginning to recognize that the days of forced unionization is on its way out. The former southern regional director for the United Auto Workers, Gary Casteel, captured the essence of the reform: “If you don't think the [union] is earning its keep, then you don't have to pay.” (Read more)
A senior official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has recommended reducing firearm regulations, saying that doing so would be beneficial for both the firearms industry and the agency. In a memo, Ronald Turk told the agency that doing so “could improve ATF operations,” adding that it would “allow ATF to further focus precious personnel and resources on the mission to combat gun violence.” Naturally, the ATF has since explained that the views expressed in Turk's memo are not necessarily shared by the agency’s leadership. (Read more)