Cicero Institute End-of-Session Update
Victories and future battles in public policy
Every few months we send an update to our supporters at the Cicero Institute about our work on public policy. Today, I’m sending you the most recent update, in which we cover our major victories in 2023 (you can subscribe to that list, too)
If you don’t know, I started the Cicero Institute 5 years ago to pursue a new vision in public policy — one that would aggressively restore liberty, accountability, and innovation in our governance. We’re active in about a dozen states (and growing) and getting real results — with about 20 new laws on the books this year as a result of our work.
I hope you enjoyed a thoughtful Memorial Day holiday with family. Please enjoy the update below. And never hesitate to reach out to our Cicero team if you want to support the cause or otherwise get involved.
Dear Friends, Supporters, and Allies,
2023 has been a momentous year for us at the Cicero Institute, with our agenda winning across the country during legislative sessions.
Our agenda is about accountable, incentive-driven governance. We know that by applying the values of a free society to public policy, we can dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans — through observable results. That is what we fight for every day.
We’re proud not just to fight — but to get results. 2023 Legislative Session Recap:
Twelve active reform states
Nineteen Cicero-inspired laws, both bills and executive orders
We won on homelessness in Georgia, and on healthcare in Tennessee, among others. But other battles will continue. Special interest groups were out in force against our agenda in 2023. In some cases, they were successful in pressuring lawmakers to back down. As a result, our work is unfinished. These policy fights sometimes take years.
In Kansas, activists representing unaccountable homeless charities intimidated legislators regarding our homelessness reform law. In other states, crony organizations showed up in public and behind closed doors to kill reform. Here in Texas, the powerful healthcare lobby fought hard to protect itself from competition and transparency.
The special interests are right to be worried: accountability is coming, and our legislative approaches on issue after issue are gaining traction nationwide.
Today, we’re asking you to consider supporting our work at Cicero. An expanded Cicero budget would provide for a bigger team working across the country, and more resources to win these battles. Next year, we are targeting fifty reforms in fifteen states. Your support will help us get there.
Please enjoy a few highlights of our work and results this spring below.
Founder and Chairman, the Cicero Institute
Victory on Homelessness in Georgia
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 62, based on our flagship legislative approach to fight homelessness at the root — and move beyond failed strategies like “Housing First.” The new law will introduce real accountability in a sector that has failed Americans for decades.
SB 62 has been years in the making. Last year, activists succeeded in stonewalling the bill through the entire legislative session, with hundreds of activists showing up in the state capitol.
This year, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Carden Summers, worked hard to build a winning coalition. It passed with strong bipartisan support.
Eliminating Unnecessary Degree Requirements
For too long, public service jobs in state government have had unnecessary degree requirements. We’ve partnered with other policy groups to change that, because state jobs should be based on skills, not arbitrary academic credentials.
Expanding Public Sector Career Opportunities (EPSCO) is a common-sense reform, and our model was adopted this year in five states through a combination of legislative actions and executive orders.
EPSCO reform is opening up opportunities for tens of thousands of skilled Americans to serve in state jobs.
Improving Healthcare Markets in Tennessee
American healthcare is broken, and it suffers from a lack of functional markets. Our growing work in healthcare aims to fix that problem by improving existing markets and creating new ones. These policies give real financial relief to patients, and to the public systems that provide healthcare to millions. In Tennessee, two of our flagship healthcare reforms were adopted.
Patient’s Right to Save requires healthcare providers to publish cash prices for procedures, and when patients are able to find a price lower than their insurer's lowest-negotiated rate, they get to share in the savings.
Tennessee will also allow well-qualified physicians with foreign medical degrees to practice with provisional licenses. That common sense reform gives real relief to the US physician shortage. Our international physicians reform was also adopted in Idaho.
We supported bold initiatives in other states like Texas to create new healthcare markets and confront cronyism. The powerful healthcare lobby in Texas isn’t happy about that. But we are prepared to fight for what’s right – on behalf of patients and our state.
The 2023 Cicero Courage Awards
In April, we hosted the inaugural Cicero Courage Awards, honoring five outstanding state leaders for their courage and principled policy leadership.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Texas Representative Giovanni Capriglione
Missouri Senator Holly Rehder
Georgia Senator Carden Summers
Missouri Representative Bruce DeGroot
Congratulations to the winners of the Courage Awards and thank you to those supporters who made it to the event.
Apply for the Law & Policy Fellowship
Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Law & Policy Fellowship for graduate students in law, business administration, public policy, or public administration. Priority applications are due July 1. Learn more
New Policy Reports & Research
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