Jason Hayes speaks at SPN's annual meeting.
Michael Reitz, executive vice president, gave a talk in a session on professional development for young free marketeers. In a separate session about the one-year anniversary of Janus, he addressed the future of labor reform.
Lindsay Killen, vice president for strategic communications, gave a presentation about two Mackinac Center projects, My Pay My Say and Workers for Opportunity. Both work with state partners across the country to inform public employees of their Janus rights and advance policy reforms that expand worker freedom. Additionally, Killen moderated a panel on innovation waivers of the Affordable Act. Otherwise known as 1332 waivers, they allow policymakers to develop and pursue market-based solutions to address mounting concerns over the access, quality, and affordability of health care in their states.
Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy, moderated a panel titled “Fiddling While Our Forests Burn.” This panel was based on his research study “Conflict to Collaboration,” which can be read online at mackinac.org/s2018-07. Participants discussed ways to encourage federal and state governments to cooperate in actively managing our national forests. Hayes also spoke at another session in which representatives of various think tanks considered monopoly utilities’ plans to close reliable, affordable electricity generation plants and replace them with unreliable and expensive renewable energy options. In this session, Hayes led two separate breakout discussions with assembled think tank leaders, helping them to determine the next steps they can take in their states to address these flawed energy policies.
Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center, had the pleasure of participating in a roundtable panel titled “All’s Not Fair in Corporate Welfare: Ending the Economic Development War.” LaFaive’s talk covered a quarter century of reforms, including reform attempts and strategies coming from both inside the public sector and from without. These included new programs, “but for” mandates and clawback requirements, all of which, people were told, would protect taxpayers. LaFaive argued, however, that they were largely ineffective.
Holly Wetzel, communications coordinator, spoke to the Generation Liberty fellows at the close of their program. The Generation Liberty program provides young professionals who are interested in or are currently working in the liberty movement the chance to attend SPN's annual meeting. In addition to attending the annual meeting, fellows participate in other programs to help them grow personally and professionally. As a past fellow, Wetzel was invited to speak on a panel to discuss the best way to use the annual meeting.
David Guenther, senior strategist for state affairs, participated in a panel sponsored by the Pacific Legal Foundation on using strategic litigation to work for better public policy. Guenthner shared his experience at the Texas Public Policy Foundation of pairing a legislative proposal with a litigation strategy to pursue a repeal of Obamacare. In a roundtable discussion, Guenthner and other policy leaders discussed the progress and direction of criminal justice reform efforts across the country.