Model Legislation

  • Protecting Everyone’s Constitutional Rights Act

    A State Legislative Solution to Problems Caused by the Federal Judiciary’s Creation of Qualified Immunity

    Qualified immunity is a judge-made doctrine that shields government officials from personal accountability when they violate the Constitution. Created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982, qualified immunity is at the center of calls for police reform. From political leaders to lawyers to athletes to musicians, there is a broad, nonpartisan consensus that it is…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Occupational Licensing Review Act

    Reforming Occupational Licensing Boards following NC Dental Board v. FTC

    Occupational licensing is one the biggest issues in labor economics today. About 25% of workers needs a government-issued license to work. That represents a five-fold increase since the 1950s, when only about 5% of workers were licensed. It also dwarfs the shares of workers today who are union members (11% of all workers) or minimum-wage…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Food Freedom Act

    Creating Opportunities for Home-based Entrepreneurs.

    Selling homemade food is a great way for entrepreneurs with big dreams but little capital to start a business. These entrepreneurs can work from their homes without spending tens of thousands of dollars on commercial kitchen space. Customers, meanwhile, love buying fresh and affordable foods from members of their community. Although nearly every state allows…

  •    |   Private Property

    Criminal Forfeiture Process Act

    Replacing Civil Forfeiture and Ending Policing for Profit

    Civil forfeiture is a serious assault on cars, cash and other property by government. To lose your property in most states, prosecutors do not have to charge you, let alone convict you of a crime. And if you don’t engage in civil litigation, you may lose it in as few as 20 days. Worse, most…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Universal Recognition of Occupational Licenses Act

    Breaking Down Barriers to Interstate Mobility

    Occupational licenses often are barriers to worker mobility. One state will not recognize another state’s license because personal qualifications differ. And even when some recognition is included in statutes, state laws often impose significant costs—in time and money—for a worker to have the second state recognize his license. Of course, a worker does not lose…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Hairstyling Freedom Act

    Exempting Hairstylists from Cosmetologist Licensing Laws

    Hairstyling salons, commonly known as ‘blow dry bars’, are experiencing increased popularity across the country. Unlike traditional cosmetology salons, hairstyling salons offer safe, limited services including shampooing, blow drying and styling hair. These specialty salons do not cut hair or use chemicals or dyes. New hairstyling salons are becoming a favored specialty provider for consumers…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Braider Freedom Act

    Exempting Hair Braiders from Cosmetology Licensing Laws

    African-style hair braiding is a common and safe practice that has existed for thousands of years. It also offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs in African-American and African immigrant communities to support themselves and their families, start their own businesses and become their own bosses. Braiding is distinct from cosmetology. Yet to legally braid hair for…

  •    |   Private Property

    Vegetable Garden Protection Act

    Protecting the Right to Grow Food from Zoning Codes

    People have used their property to grow food since the dawn of modern civilization. Americans are no different. Our national identity is rooted in the Jeffersonian ideal of farmers and settlers. Even as fewer people earn their living as farmers, many Americans still use their property to grow food. In these difficult times, countless more…

  • Home-Based Business and Occupation Act

    Updating Zoning Laws to Allow Home-Based Businesses

    The pre-COVID custom of Americans living in one place but working from another is historically unusual. As one scholar noted, “the phenomenon of leaving home to go to work did not become the norm until the Industrial Revolution.” Even then, home-based businesses never went away. As states began adopting the Standard Zoning Enabling Act (SZEA)…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Salon Inspection Act

    Replacing Barber and Cosmetology Occupational Licenses with Salon Facility Licenses and Inspections

    The beauty industry offers great opportunities for work and entrepreneurship. However, states erect roadblocks by requiring barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians and nail technicians to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to attend schools and gain occupational licenses. The time and money spent getting an individual license comes at a great cost to aspiring beauty…

  •    |   Educational Choice

    Education Savings Account Act: Publicly Funded

    Empowering parents to personalize their child’s education

    Our present system of delivering publicly funded education is in need of dramatic reform.  Educational choice programs provide that reform as they shift the power from state boards of education and school districts to parents.  Educational choice programs are growing in popularity with programs in more than half the states and Washington, DC. Education Savings…

  •    |   Educational Choice

    Education Savings Account Act: Tax-Credit Funded

    Using private funds to empower parents to customize their child’s education

    Our present system of delivering publicly funded education is in need of dramatic reform.  Educational choice programs provide that reform as they shift the power from state boards of education and school districts to parents.  Educational choice programs are growing in popularity with programs in more than half the states and Washington, DC. Education Savings…

  •    |   Private Property

    Municipal Fines and Fees Reporting Act

    Identifying When Fines and Fees are Abused to Generate Municipal Revenue

    Most municipalities allow law or code enforcement officers to cite residents for various violations that may result in fines. Unfortunately, some municipalities use this enforcement power to generate revenue rather than solely to protect public safety and property. Frequently, this burden falls unequally on lower-income residents. “Taxation by citation” threatens community trust in local governments,…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act

    Eliminating Occupational Licensing Barriers for Ex-Offenders

    A job is one of the best ways for people with criminal records not to re-offend. But many occupational licensing laws block or burden ex-offenders. Many licensing laws have morality clauses that (1) bar automatically and permanently ex-offenders from working without any individualized review or (2) require the ex-offender to prove a negative—that the ex-offender’s…

  •    |   Private Property

    Driver’s License Suspensions and Revocations

    Repealing a Counterproductive Tool to Collect Past Due Fines and Fees

    Eleven million Americans face the suspension or revocation of driving privileges because of unpaid fines and fees. Suspending and revoking licenses for the collection of court debt, and not public safety, is bad public policy. Losing a license, even temporarily, jeopardizes a person’s ability to support themselves and their family. What should legislators do? Sponsor…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act

    State legislation to remove unnecessary roadblocks for food truck entrepreneurs

    Everyone benefits from food trucks. With their low start-up costs, food trucks offer first-time entrepreneurs the opportunity to experiment, accumulate capital and climb the economic ladder. Additionally, they enrich the culinary landscape in our communities by increasing access to a variety of foods and cultures. Food trucks also help stimulate economic growth. They bring communities…

  •    |   Private Property

    Reconsidered Fines and Fees Hearing Act

    Codifying Bearden v. Georgia to Reevaluate Unpaid Financial Sanctions before Imprisonment

    Courts routinely order those convicted of crimes to pay fines and fees beyond their means. When they fail to pay, offenders may be imprisoned, often without a hearing. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the lack of a meaningful hearing is unconstitutional in many cases. Most notably, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bearden v.…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Ordinance

    Municipal legislation to remove unnecessary roadblocks for food truck entrepreneurs

    Starting a food truck has helped many entrepreneurs realize the American dream. These mobile kitchens create jobs and provide a serious economic boost to the communities they serve. Unfortunately, many counties and cities have made it near impossible for food trucks to operate. Some have even banned food trucks altogether—often at the bequest of brick-and-mortar…

  •    |   Private Property

    Seizure and Forfeiture Reporting Act

    Providing Data to State Legislators to Monitor Forfeiture

    Civil forfeiture—where the government can take and sell your property without ever charging you with a crime, let alone convicting you of one—is one of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation. To make matters worse, such forfeitures often fund law enforcement officials’ budgets, giving them a direct financial incentive to abuse this…

  •    |   Private Property

    Anti-Circumvention Forfeiture Act

    Protecting State Sovereignty from Federal Forfeiture Overreach

    Under civil forfeiture, law enforcement agencies can permanently confiscate your cash, car, or even your home, without convicting, or even charging you with a crime. Although some states have taken action to protect innocent property owners from forfeiture abuse, a loophole in forfeiture law still puts owners at risk. By participating in a federal forfeiture…

  •    |   Private Property

    Eminent Domain Act

    Protecting Property Owners from Takings for Economic Development

    Despite mass public outcry following the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Kelo v. City of New London, eminent domain for private gain continues to threaten homeowners and small businesses. While 43 states reformed their laws to prevent Kelo-style takings after the Court’s decision in 2005, private developers and tax revenue-hungry politicians have found other…

  •    |   First Amendment

    Sign Code Act

    Protecting the Free Speech Rights of both Businesses and Citizens to Use Signs and Other Displays

    In June 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided its first sign code case in over 20 years, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015).  The Court’s opinion in Reed made clear that when the government treats signs differently depending on their subject matter or message, that treatment is presumptively unconstitutional—even…

  •    |   First Amendment

    Anti-SLAPP Act

    Short-circuiting Lawsuits Intended to Intimidate

    Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) are a way for individuals who do business with the government to silence their critics through costly lawsuits. In many states, there are no protections from frivolous defamation suits for private individuals who exercise their First Amendment right to speak out against the government. SLAPPs are costly and time-consuming…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Eyebrow Threader Freedom Act

    Exempting Threaders from Cosmetology and Esthetician Licensing Laws

    Eyebrow threading is an ancient grooming technique that dates back thousands of years to parts of South Asia and the Middle East. Using only a simple cotton thread to form loops as they work, threaders quickly and precisely remove unwanted facial hair. Since its arrival in the United States, threading has become increasingly popular, offering…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Teeth Whitener Freedom Act

    Exempting Teeth Whiteners from Dental Licensing Laws

    Teeth whitening is a common and safe practice that has been enjoyed by literally millions of people worldwide. It also offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to support themselves and their families, start their own businesses and become their own bosses. Most often, teeth-whitening services offered by non-dentists consist of nothing more than selling an…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Animal Husbandry Workers Freedom Act

    Exempting Animal Husbandry Workers from Veterinary Licensing Laws

    Animal husbandry is a branch of agriculture and animal science concerned with the care, breeding and management of cows, pigs, chickens, horses and other farm animals. Husbandry workers play a vital role keeping large animals healthy, and farms and ranches productive. Only about two dozen community and other colleges offer majors in animal husbandry. Fortunately,…

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