Robert Alt of the Buckeye Institute: Power to the States

Guest: Robert Alt, President of the Buckeye Institute (policy organization in Ohio).

Topic: Workers' Voting Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, and State-Based Policy Work

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So far, the biggest silver lining on the Trump presidency has been a national shift in focus toward state-level policies.  In his inauguration speech, President Trump promised to return “power to the people” – devolving responsibilities previously undertaken by Federal Government to the states, where citizens can more effectively voice their opinions, or vote with their feet if that fails. Even the San Francisco Chronicle has praised the “great American tradition” of Federalism since discovering that California could use the concept to resist Federal immigration directives. Robert Alt, President and CEO of the Buckeye Institute, used to work in Washington D.C., but took the helm of the Ohio-based free market think tank in 2012 after deciding that the real change is happening at the state level. Under his leadership, the Buckeye Institute has been winning public policy victories in tax policy, workers’ voting rights, and criminal justice reform. Recently, he has been fighting to grant public sector union workers the ability to vote for their union representation. He and Bob also discuss the Buckeye Institute’s important work in criminal justice, and the need for more ground-up reforms across the 50 states. What can California learn from Ohio, and how can every state engage in novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country?