Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

Research Note: Utah’s Regulatory Sandbox

Research Note: Utah’s Regulatory Sandbox

Editor’s Note: As the 5th of 7 planned research notes by our summer intern, Stephen Trainer, this post discusses the concept of regulatory sandboxes. The Platte Institute has supported several regulatory sandbox efforts, including a comprehensive one (which would cover multiple industries) and the most recent one (LB587 in 2023/24), which provides for an “insuretech...

By Stephen Trainer

Research Note: Regulatory Experiments–Idaho, Virginia

Research Note: Regulatory Experiments–Idaho, Virginia

A few states outside the midwest provide promising templates for regulatory reform and modernization, a pressing issue for Nebraska. Idaho and Virginia notably embarked on a mission to unshackle citizens from a growing administrative state, as discussed by a Mercatus Study in 2019. Six years ago, Virginia passed the Regulatory Reform Pilot Program that tasked...

By Stephen Trainer

Research note: a case study of success of the REINS act in state regulatory reform

Research note: a case study of success of the REINS act in state regulatory reform

First introduced in 2009 and subsequently passed by the US House of Representatives in 2023, the REINS Act, formally known as the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, represents a legislative endeavor to augment Congressional oversight concerning federal regulations with substantial economic ramifications. Specifically, it aims to empower Congress to assert greater...

By Stephen Trainer

Research note: Cost-Benefit Analysis in Regulation

Research note: Cost-Benefit Analysis in Regulation

The primary autoregulative process when state agencies begin promulgating rules and regulations is the cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Despite having many names across states, the CBA or impact statement is an important system in which agencies self-evaluate the effectiveness and scope of a proposed rule’s regulatory impact on business and government. Moreover, these reports play an...

By Stephen Trainer

Research Note: Regulations in Nebraska and Iowa

Research Note: Regulations in Nebraska and Iowa

Note: This Research Note is the first in a planned series of notes by Platte’s summer interns.  Despite sharing a border, Iowa and Nebraska diverge on many legislative topics, especially the regulatory review process. Iowa has been noted to have “one of the best-designed review structures in the country,” according to the Institute for Policy...

By Stephen Trainer

ESG in the banking industry

ESG in the banking industry

Nebraska banks play a key role in the state’s strong economic success by providing credit and other financial services to individuals, businesses and communities. Banks carefully manage risk and the needs of the customers and communities they serve when making lending decisions. Unfortunately, special interest groups have proposed using the heavy hand of government to...

By Kelly Trambly

Iowa accelerates tax reform

Iowa accelerates tax reform

Iowa’s spending restraint has allowed the Hawkeye State to accelerate previously-enacted tax reforms. Thanks to a package of new tax reforms, Iowa’s income tax will be lowered to a flat 3.8% beginning in 2025, far less than half the state’s 8.98% top rate when Iowa’s tax reforms began.  The Hawkeye State’s accelerating tax relief adds...

By Michael Lucci

Winter of our artificial communication disconnect

Winter of our artificial communication disconnect

With the rise of artificial intelligence assisting us with how we communicate via email, our alienation occurs while we communicate, not instead of. We can stop it by being intentional with each other while using AI for the rest. If you have not heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI), you have been under a rock. AI...

By Lance Pounds

The Cost of Voting in Nebraska: A Platte Institute Study

The Cost of Voting in Nebraska: A Platte Institute Study

(Note: This is the second in a series of studies exploring various elements of Nebraska’s electoral system. The first study is found here.) A Primary election is a pre-election process for choosing candidates for the general election. In Nebraska (for all but a few municipal elections), the primary occurs in May, preceding the general election...

By Laura Ebke

Taking federal dollars is different than respecting federalism

Taking federal dollars is different than respecting federalism

(NOTE: An earlier version of this article has had some math calculations corrected. The author acknowledges that she studied political science so she wouldn’t have to do math, and apologizes for any confusion on the reader’s part caused by her difficulty in calculating large numbers!)   Federalism is a form of government that maintains the...

By Laura Ebke

Nebraskanomics: Jonathan Williams on How Nebraska Ranks

Nebraskanomics: Jonathan Williams on How Nebraska Ranks

Tune in to the latest episode of Nebraskanomics as we welcome Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and Executive Vice President for the American Legislative Exchange Council. During the episode Jonathan and Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal dive into the significance of state tax policies and their impact on economic competitiveness. Jonathan also shares valuable insights from...

Help for starting a small business in Nebraska

Help for starting a small business in Nebraska

Note: This cataloging is part of a larger project where we’ll explore small business start-up programs throughout our region as we look for new ways to grow opportunities in Nebraska. Nebraska offers an abundance of resources to aid in the development of current business programs. However, finding these resources can take time and effort. This...

By Lance Pounds

Unstable revenue sources make unsustainable tax reform

Unstable revenue sources make unsustainable tax reform

Sustainable tax reform depends upon sustainable revenue sources. And while Platte Institute has been critical of a state-local tax swap because it uses state funds to subsidize local spending, it’s also worth clarifying that not all state funding sources are created equally.    Regardless of Platte’s position on tax swaps, no tax reform should be built...

By Michael Lucci