Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance RegulationsPosted 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 TaxpayersPosted 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.
Making Welfare Work: Reforming Arizona's Welfare System to Help Families and Save MoneyPosted on March 04, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Katherine K. Bradley
Like many states, Arizona is grappling with a historic budget shortfall and faces complex decisions about what programs and services to reduce or eliminate. In response to the 2010 budget, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) made a series of cuts, including $13.5 million in the Cash Assistance welfare program. The state was wise not to cut welfare-to-work programs that are designed to move recipients off the welfare rolls and into self-sufficiency. Arizona should consider additional no-cost policies that would further save the state money and increase the number of people leaving welfare for gainful employment.
Budget Reduction Opportunities 2010Posted on March 03, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach
In September 2009, Governor Jan Brewer asked each state agency to present a plan to reduce their budgets by 15 percent. The following is an assessment of each agency’s plan and whether there are more opportunities for savings. The departments are arranged in the order in which they appear in the master list of programs from the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. Most stand-alone boards and commissions, the so-called 90/10 agencies, are not included since they are self-funded through user fees.
Reconsidering McDonald v. Chicago: How the 14th Amendment Obliges States to Protect the Fundamental Right to Bear ArmsPosted on February 02, 2010 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias
For decades, debate has raged over whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. In its landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. Many assumed that lower courts would take the next logical step of “incorporation”—recognizing that the right to keep and bear arms, like the right to free speech, is among the fundamental liberties the Fourteenth Amendment protects against contrary state and local laws. But so far, two of the three federal courts of appeals considering Second Amendment cases have refused to apply it to the states. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Seventh Circuits claim that their hands are tied by century-old Supreme Court decisions—specifically, United States v. Cruikshank (1876), Presser v. Illinois (1886), and Miller v. Texas (1894)—that did not expressly apply the Second Amendment to the states.