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Muck Soil Conservation Bill Scored in Latest Taxpayer’s Tab
NTU Foundation continues its research efforts with four new scored bills ranging the legislative spectrum. The Taxpayer’s Tab’s 21st installment also gives taxpayers a broad range of legislators from across the nation, from coast to coast and a few Midwest states.
One bill that got our attention this week was HR 6180, which would establish a muck soil conservation program. Muck soil is a top soil that is used in producing many agricultural products, from onions to celery. The legislation calls for $50 million to be spent in the first year in the form of state grants. Farmers who perform five requirements (mentioned in the Tab) would be paid up to $500 per acre to use the muck soil.
The latest Taxpayer’s Tab includes the following bills:
Throughout the week, NTUF will tweet summaries, spending report links, and updates concerning the latest Congressional research.0 Comments | Post a Comment | Sign up for NTU Action Alerts
$572 Million Net Federal Spending in Taxpayer’s Tab
The NTU Foundation’s Taxpayer’s Tab is back to its regular schedule and format, highlighting four newly scored Congressional bills.
Covering veterans educational benefits, the Most Expensive Bill of the Week would allow certain service members to transfer benefits to their dependents. The Least Expensive Bill of the Week would establish a comprehensive energy plan, including more domestic oil exploration, alternative technology development, and a natural gas vehicle demonstration project provision. The House version of the Prevention First Act was found to increase federal spending by $417 million in the first year.
Bills covered in the latest Taxpayer’s Tab include:
Taxpayer’s Tab Covers Veteran Benefits, Arson Database in New Issue
Through this busy election season, NTU Foundation continues to score the bills Congress has introduced to keep taxpayers informed. The top potential spending, savings, and law changes are again highlighted in this week’s Taxpayer’s Tab. Issue 16 examines bills that would expand military veteran and personnel educational benefits, establish an arson database, and provide for improved prison conditions throughout the world.
The latest Taxpayer’s Tab covers the following bills:
Also, the Tab highlights the recent U.S. Senate Candidate Spending Analyses, which NTUF has release over the past two weeks. So far, five Pennsylvania and Florida candidates have been highlighted for their spending agendas. Some would increase while others would decrease federal spending. NTUF will be releasing more reports in the coming week. Be sure to stay up-to-date on all the latest research by checking out the NTUF homepage and following the official @NTUF Twitter feed.0 Comments | Post a Comment | Sign up for NTU Action Alerts
How Well Run Is Your State?
There's a new ranking that looks at how well states are run, or in some cases not so well run. According to its web site, "24/7 Wall St. has completed one of the most comprehensive studies of state financial management ever performed by the mainstream media. It is based on evaluation principles used in the award-winning Best Run States In America ratings published by the Financial World Magazine during the 1990s. These studies were used by state governments to evaluate the efficiency of their own operations. The new 24/7 Wall St. study is meant to help businesses and individuals examine state operation with an unbiased eye."
Take a look and see how your state does. Spoiler alert: Wyoming is the best and Kentucky is the worst.5 Comments | Post a Comment | Sign up for NTU Action Alerts
Buckeye Institute Adds Education Salaries to their Database
Transparency and openness in government spending is crucial in an open society as it reinforces our system of checks and balances. When citizens know how, where, and why their tax dollars are being spent they are far better able to hold government accountable and demand changes. Government becomes more responsive to constituent's concerns, thus bolstering public confidence, promoting fiscal responsibility, and reducing the prospects of waste, fraud, and abuse.
Over the last few years state governments across the country have been creating entirely new web portals dedicated to spending transparency, listing state employee salaries, providing state operating budgets and the like. In addition, independent organizations have jumped on the transparency bandwagon, often times filling the void in states that do not yet have official government transparency sites. They attempt to organize financial information into a user friendly and searchable format.
The Ohio-based Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions has its own searchable database of state employee, teacher and lobbyist salary information. This week the Institute added the following colleges and universities to its "Higher Ed" searchable data tool:
Ohio taxpayers deserve to know what higher education is costing them and judge the overall value of the state’s public schools. The website has received much fanfare since its launch on April 30, 2010. According the Institute, over 99,500 visitors from 426 Ohio cities have spent over 10,500 hours on the website doing more than 732,000 searches.
Reducing Federal Workforce, Gun Law Modernization in Taxpayer’s Tab
This week, the Taxpayer’s Tab brings you a Most Friended bill with the most cosponsors to date, 240 Congressmen and 35 Senators. Think you know what the bill covers? The answer may surprise you. NTU Foundation also presents a Least Expensive Bill section only rivaled by Issue 2’s HR 5615, which repealed the medical device tax. To check out all the exciting content the Taxpayer’s Tab offers you, subscribe and help NTUF bring Congress’s potential spending agendas to light.
The Taxpayer’s Tab Issue 11 content includes:
The NTUF Policy Analysis Team has received many requests for bill cost estimates. Do you have a suggestion? Email us and let us know what’s important to you! While you’re emailing us, send your friends a copy of the Tab and tell them if they followed us on Twitter, they could stay on top of all the ongoing research.0 Comments | Post a Comment | Sign up for NTU Action Alerts
We Read the Constitution
Constituting America and Let Freedom Ring have launched a joint initiative aimed at getting more Americans to read the Constitution out loud and gain a better understanding of our nation's founding documents, principles, and ideals. We often hear politicians reference the Constitution, but how many of them do you think have actually read the entire text? These two organizations will be hosting local events all across the country on September 18, where ordinary citizens can participate in a reading of the Constitution in their area. It's something every American should do and it takes less than one hour to read the whole thing!
You can sign up to host a Constitution party on WeReadTheConstitution.com or simply locate an event near you. Remember that it doesn't need to be a lavish extravaganza; host a barbeque, meet at your local recreation center, or even invite friends to recite in your living room. Check out this short video if you're not already inspired:
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In just a few hours, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation will be hosting an event honoring Milton Friedman and his achievements in the educational choice movement with an exclusive screening of The Lottery and happy hour. Join with policy experts, education advocates, and citizens in toasting the late great economist's legacy of free-markets, liberty, and true education.
For more information, check out our RSVP.
When: Friday, July 30th, Doors open at 5PM
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation in partnership with the Foundation for Educational Choice invites you to join us in celebrating Milton Friedman's 98th Birthday with a film about four families in New York City desperately trying to get their children into a charter school and out of poverty. The Lottery is a documentary highlighting the conflict over educational choice that pits parents and their children against teacher unions in a battle for our country's future. RSVP here
When: Friday, July 30th, Doors open at 5PM
Why would someone block school reform in Illinois?
Just when you think you've seen it all in politics, someone comes along and reminds you that the day is still young and full of possibilities.
In Illinois, where the House is on the verge of passing a historic bill (SB 2494) to create a school voucher pilot program to help rescue students in Chicago's chronically underperforming public schools, a State Representative is trying to stop it. While I'd expect opposition to a school voucher program from entrenched special interests like teachers unions who stand to lose their long-standing monopoly on power, what is striking about the opposition here is that the State Representative is none other than Roger Eddy, a Republican from Downstate Illinois and a school administrator. This supposed "conservative" is working hard to defeat the bill, even going so far as to cross question State Rep. Kevin Joyce, the Democrat who is the voucher bill's sponsor, on the House floor about funding for the program. Eddy claims he is concerned the voucher bill will diminish funding from other public schools, including those in the district he runs when he is not working as a legislator.
But even a cursory review of the text of the voucher bill (SB 2494) and Rep. Joyce's amendment to the same bill reveals that no school districts in Chicago or elsewhere in the state will lose funding if the kids eligible for vouchers, who are those in the bottom 10% of Chicago's schools, choose private over public schools. So why is Rep. Eddy going to these lengths to derail what is probably the best chance to reform some of the worst schools in the state? Why would a "conservative" stop a proposal advanced by Milton Friedman? Why would a school administrator stand in the way of a opportunity to do away with the unions' monopoly on power and give more power to parents to decide the best education for the children? One factor may be the $90,000 in campaign contributions he received over the last ten years from the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Chicago Teachers Union. Rep. Eddy certainly has some explaining to do.
Hopefully, Rep. Eddy's colleagues will see through his opposition and do what's right for the children in Chicago's worst public schools by voting for SB 2494. If you live in Illinois and care about your children's education, click here to contact your state representatives and urge them to vote YES on SB 2494.
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