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CSE Activists Lead Campaign to Limit Growth of Government in Florida
On March 19, the Florida House of Representatives passed HJR 87, “The Limitation on State Appropriations Amendment,” to limit the growth of government to a sustainable level. Passage of this legislation was at the top of Florida CSE’s issue agenda for 2002. Introduced by State Representative Rob Wallace (R-Tampa), the bill would limit state spending to the previous year’s appropriation plus an adjustment for growth. The growth adjustment would be calculated with a simple formula that adds the growth of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to Florida’s population growth. This new spending limit would take effect January 1, 2003 if State Representative Wallace’s amendment passes both houses of the state legislature and is approved by Florida voters in the November 2002 general election.
Florida CSE has spent the last several months on the ground and in the media educating and mobilizing activists in favor of State Representative Wallace’s joint resolution, and against State Senator John McKay’s (R-Bradenton) tax proposal. While it lowers the state sales tax from 6 to 4 percent, Senator McKay’s proposal would have broadened the tax base by ending exemptions on many items and services, thereby increasing taxes. Florida CSE staff and activists crisscrossed the state encouraging citizens to testify at hearings in Orlando and Tampa; appear on radio talk radio programs; and participate in Florida CSE’s “Day at the Capitol,” where more than 140 activists traveled to Tallahassee to personally lobby their state legislators. When everything was said and done, our activists generated more than 600 letters, emails, faxes, and phone calls in support of State Representative Wallace’s joint resolution.
Almost forty states are facing budget shortfalls and are considering new tax increases as a solution. CSE is fighting to stop new tax increases at the state and local level all across the country. In just the first three months of the year, CSE activists, by traveling to state capitols, sending letters, emails and making phone calls have stopped tax increases in Florida, Alabama and Oregon. CSE will continue to put citizen pressure on state legislatures to reject new taxes and to find ways to cut wasteful spending.
For more information on CSE’s efforts to fight tax increases across the nation click here.
CSE Activists Fight Against Government Land Grabs
On March 16, North Carolina CSE held its Private Property Rights Summit to educate citizens on the costly affects of the state’s river buffer regulations on citizens’ property rights. These buffer regulations prohibit owners from developing their land as they see fit, if that land falls within a 50-foot area surrounding any lake, river, stream, or creek. Activists see the buffer regulations as a regulatory land grab by the government without just compensation – a clear violation of the Constitution. Over 150 activists attended the event, which featured presentations by several prominent policymakers including Congressmen Cass Ballenger and Charles Taylor; State Representatives Mitch Gillespie, Mark Crawford, Mark Hilton, and Joe Kiser; and State Senator Ken Moore. During his presentation, Congressman Charles Taylor indicated his appreciation for CSE by saying, “CSE plays a vital role in educating citizens and motivating them into action to become integral in limiting government in everyday life.” CSE activists have been instrumental in safeguarding private property rights nationwide.
For more information on North Carolina CSE’s campaign to educate citizens about their property rights click here.
CSE Activists Mobilize Against Propaganda in the Classroom
Texas CSE, in collaboration with our coalition allies, is leading a campaign to ensure that the over 236 social studies, history, and economic textbooks scheduled for adoption in Texas later this year instill patriotism in students and are free from propaganda. To date, Texas CSE has recruited over 300 activists to review the textbooks under consideration by the Texas State Board of Education (Texas SBOE). Earlier this week, Texas CSE staff and activists testified at a hearing before the Texas SBOE on a proposal to move up the deadline for public comments to July 5 from August 21. CSE activists encouraged committee members not to further limit the ability for citizens to provide comments on the textbooks under review.
The importance of Texas CSE’s action goes beyond Texas state boundaries. Texas and California are the largest purchasers of textbooks and consequently textbooks adopted in these states are sold nationwide. In 2001, Texas CSE activists were instrumental in ensuring accuracy in science textbooks. An article highlighting Texas CSE’s latest effort appeared in the March 21 edition of the Austin American-Statesman.
To view the article in its entirety click here.
For more information on Texas CSE’s efforts to ensure accuracy in academia click here.
More Than 18 CSE Activists To Attend Liberty Summit in April
In April, CSE will bring more than 18 of our best activists to Washington, D.C., for meetings with targeted members of the House and Senate, and policymakers in the executive branch, as well as a visit to the Federal Courthouse of the District of Columbia to see proceedings in the government’s case against Microsoft Corporation.
During this visit, CSE will train our activists to effectively influence policymakers in the legislative and executive branches and comment on legal proceedings in the judicial branch. The activists will deliver the message that America still needs economic security. In order to realize this goal, policymakers must refrain from increasing taxes and spending, make the Bush tax cuts permanent, speed up the judicial confirmation process, deregulate sectors of the economy that are willing and able to make significant investments, and avoid fostering lawsuit abuse.