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Week in Review: Why won’t Phoenix enforce the law in the homeless “Zone”?

March 11, 2023

Law and order have given way to death and depravity.

Downtown Phoenix’s “The Zone,” where more than 1,000 homeless people have set up camp, was once a thriving business district. Not anymore, according to an investigative report produced by the Goldwater Institute and AZ Free News. Violent crime has spiked, and drug deals, open drug use, defecation and urination, assaults, sexual acts, and rapes are carried out in the open with increasing impunity. Making matters worse, the city of Phoenix refuses to address the crisis by enforcing the law.

“You walk into The Zone, it’s like you’re walking out of America. It’s a nightmare hellscape that shouldn’t exist anywhere in this country, but it’s also what a lot of our major cities are coming to look like,” said Phoenix resident Sam Stone.

The city’s inaction isn’t compassionate to the law-abiding citizens whose livelihoods have been destroyed or the homeless people living in dangerous and unsanitary conditions. That’s why the Goldwater Institute has filed a brief in support of a group of property and business owners in The Zone who are suing the city for maintaining a public nuisance. It’s simple: innocent residents and business owners shouldn’t forfeit their rights because the city doesn’t want to fulfill its duty and enforce the law.

Read the investigative report here

Goldwater is thrusting open the floodgates of educational freedom, as states across the country race to empower parents to make the best decisions for their children. And champions of school choice are making clear that true educational freedom means adopting Goldwater’s Academic Transparency reform, which the Institute is promoting around the nation, so that parents can make truly informed decisions about their children’s education.

Just this past week, Arkansas joined the ranks of states—five in less than two years—that have followed Goldwater’s blueprint for giving every student access to school choice via an education savings account (ESA). Goldwater created the nation’s first ESA program in Arizona more than a decade ago and has enacted ESA programs in more than a dozen states overall—and the Institute established the new gold standard for school choice last year by expanding Arizona’s ESA program to every student in the state.

But parents also “need to be able to identify and avoid operators that promote politicized, divisive content,” Goldwater Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes at In Defense of Liberty. “That means academic transparency—requiring public schools to disclose online the actual materials being used to instruct (or indoctrinate) students.”

Now, high-profile advocates for educational freedom—from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—are touting Academic Transparency as “the next battle in the war for parents’ rights in education.” And Goldwater will keep standing alongside parents to ensure they win.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty 

Imagine the federal government created a program to help patients in underserved communities better afford prescription drugs. Then imagine healthcare providers were tapping into that same government program to line their own pockets instead—marking up the prices of these much-needed drugs by up to 700 percent.

That’s exactly what’s happening under the 340B Drug Pricing Program, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez writes in the Washington Examiner, citing a newly released Goldwater report on how the safety net program has failed to help low-income patients access cheaper prescription drugs. The 340B programwas created more than 30 years ago to allow hospitals and other entities serving poor, often rural communities to purchase drugs at discounted prices, but the federal government’s own data shows that the discounts often aren’t reaching vulnerable patients—and in some cases those patients aren’t getting the treatments at all.

Instead, many healthcare providers are purchasing the discounted drugs, then selling them at steep profits to pharmacies across the country. Accountability and oversight reforms are urgently needed. “With a renewed focus on transparency and integrity in the 340B program, lawmakers can put a stop to the far-reaching and cozy, yet secretive, relationships between these entities and pharmacies across the country,” Lopez explains.

Read the rest in the Washington Examiner.



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