Information, ideas, news and commentaries on fixing America’s broken governmental and legal systems.

Resources — Nationwide Reform Initiatives

California governor moves to reform “enterprise zones”

For 30 years, California has operated a program known as "enterprise zones", providing tax incentives for investment in economically suffering areas. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Gov. Jerry Brown contends that the incentives are no longer serving their intended purpose:

In 2010, the enterprise-zone program gave out tax breaks totaling $698 million, compared with $136 million 10 years earlier, according to the California Franchise Tax Board—and businesses in San Francisco got a bigger sum than anywhere except Los Angeles, even though the city is one of the state's wealthiest.

Of course, businesses that benefit from the status quo are fighting any attempt to restructure the program:

"Any business that is currently in a zone and getting credits is going to defend it very strongly," said David Neumark, an economist and professor who is the co-author of a paper published in 2009 that focused on California's program. But "if you look at average effects, this program is a waste of money."

When laws outlive their usefulness, they need to be reformed--even if it ruffles special interests' feathers. Read the full report here.

Georgia: Health Courts Initiative

Georgia is considering the "Patient Injury Act", which would establish a specialized health court system that would reduce defensive medicine costs while ensuring fairer outcomes for patients and doctors.

Read more here.

New York: Health Care Reform

New York City hospitals are moving to tie doctor pay to patient outcomes and other metrics, in a move away from fee-for-service medicine. The new model could save money and encourage higher quality care.

Read more here.

Rhode Island: Regulatory Reform

Rhode Island is considering legislation that would institute cost-benefit analysis for state regulations, and most importantly, would compel agencies to review old regulations and eliminate obsolete ones.

More information here.

Michigan: Regulatory Reform

Governor Rick Snyder has established an Office of Regulatory Reinvention, charged with reassessing old administrative rules and culling those which are no longer productive.

More information here

Florida: Medical Liability Reform

Patients for Fair Compensation is advocating a no-fault administrative compensation system, similar to health courts, that would improve fairness, reliability, and trust.

More information here

Connecticut: Education Reform

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced an education plan that cuts red tape, spurs innovation, and promotes teacher quality.

More information here.

Colorado: Regulatory Reform

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced recommendations to reduce obsolete regulations and bureaucratic red tape through collaboration with businesses.

More information here.