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  • On the Road to Excellence: Next Steps to Match Florida's Success in Educating Children

    Posted on June 15, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Matthew Ladner

    Arizona had a breakthrough in 2010 that could end years of frustration about the state’s relatively low academic achievement. The Arizona Legislature this year adopted new reforms for K-12 public education that combine accountability, transparency and parental choice. Lawmakers modeled these changes on innovations first launched in Florida that have raised the average reading test scores for that state’s fourth-grade students by two entire grade levels over the past decade.

  • Rediscovering the ACC's Roots: Returning to the Original Purpose of the Arizona Corporation Commission

    Posted on May 18, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Benjamin Barr

    The Arizona Corporation Commission was established through the state constitution to regulate corporations, public utilities, securities, and other investments. But in an unprecedented move, the Arizona Corporation Commission sought to single-handedly determine alternative energy policy in Arizona with a bold and unconstitutional energy mandate in 2006. This mandate forced energy producers to embrace state-favored alternatives instead of deciding for themselves which options are most attractive in Arizona.

  • Put Arizona on a Real Budget: New Spending Limit Can Restore State's Fiscal Health

    Posted on April 29, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach

    As recently as 2006, state revenue was climbing nearly 17 percent per year and few imagined that Arizona could be facing today’s financial crisis. Flush with cash, the state had three consecutive years of double-digit spending growth.

  • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance Regulations

    Posted on April 06, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias

    In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the federal government could prohibit a nonprofit corporation from showing a movie that criticized presidential candidate Hillary Clinton within 30 days of an election. Answering “yes” would have declared censorship of political speech is appropriate under the First Amendment.

  • $50 Billion Tidal Wave: How Unfunded Pensions Could Overwhelm Arizona Taxpayers

    Posted on March 31, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Andrew Biggs

    In a period when financial markets and institutions have appeared near collapse, the accounting methods used by public employee pensions effectively ignore risk. These accounting methods, which are used by public pensions in Arizona and around the country, allow pension fund managers to assume that high returns can be earned through stocks and other investments without taking any market risk. As a result, the true market value of Arizona pension shortfalls that must be funded by taxpayers is understated by around half of what the pension funds have reported.

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