The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a Tennessee think tank, has created their first Legislator’s Guide to the Issues. It attempts to address some of the most pressing issues facing Tennesseans by clearly stating the problem, making a recommendation to fix it, and a factual analysis supporting the recommendation. For example:

  • Transparency:
    Create an online check register posting every dollar spent by state government.
  • Government Reform:
    Require methodology to be included in fiscal impact analyses.
  • Third Party Ballot Access:
    Permit ballot access by third parties rather than requiring third party candidates to run as “independents”.
  • Education:
    Eliminate Tennessee’s salary schedule to allow pay increases at the local and school level for our state’s most effective teachers.
  • Charter Schools:
    Eliminate the requirement that students be in a “failing” school before being eligible for a charter school program, and strike the student low achievement eligibility requirement.
  • Eminent Domain:
    Forbid any government entity from taking private property and transferring it from one private party to another private party.
  • Health Insurance Costs:
    Urge Congress to permit the interstate purchase of health insurance so as to open up the health insurance market for Tennesseans.

While I hardly agree with all of TCPR’s recommendations (particularly in the area of transportation), I am pleased that TCPR has taken this important step in establishing their credentials with state legislators, as well as voters. And the formal addition of their analysis and recommendations can only improve the public debate on policy in Tennessee.

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