CCAGW Year in Review in the States | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Year in Review in the States

The WasteWatcher

In 2022, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) wrote more than 70 letters to state legislatures and conducted the biggest statewide ad and lobbying campaign in the organization’s history.  Through these efforts, CCAGW helped protect taxpayers with wins on data privacy, broadband spending, drug price controls, and reducing red tape.

CCAGW’s most significant engagement at the state level came in the fight to prevent the passage of Florida’s HB 9, which, if enacted, would have added to the increasing patchwork of data privacy laws at the state level, and burdened small Florida businesses with new heavy-handed regulations and requirements.  Most notably, HB 9 threatened to bring California-style regulations that would have threatened Florida’s status as one of the country’s most business friendly states without providing adequate protection of consumers’ data privacy.  CCAGW also noted that according to an analysis by Florida TaxWatch, the bill would have reduced Florida’s gross operating surplus by $17.2 billion.

CCAGW also engaged to protect taxpayers from expensive and burdensome data privacy legislation in Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin, while continuing to fight for a uniform national privacy framework.  Without a uniform framework, consumers and business owners will be left navigating a complex web of data privacy laws that vary from state to state with different protections, reporting requirements, and penalties.  Our communications cited the ITIF analysis that the lack of a national standard would cost $1 trillion over 10 years.  Working to help Congress enact a national standard will be one of CCAGW’s top priorities for the 118th Congress.

A second major focus of CCAGW’s work at the state level was on the effective distribution of broadband funding.  Under the various COVID-19 relief bills and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, states received up to an estimated $800 billion that could be used for broadband expansion.  With this much money flowing to the states, CCAGW called upon state and local lawmakers to put taxpayers first and avoid spending federal broadband money on areas that already have broadband access or government-owned broadband networks.  Rhode Island’s H 7083, for instance, would have restricted broadband funding to fiber-to-the-home service, with no consideration of the usefulness of other broadband methods.  Similarly, Mississippi’s SB 2474 would have incentivized the use of taxpayer funds to establish government owned broadband networks in the Magnolia State.  Instead, CCAGW encouraged legislators in these states and others to maintain a vendor- and technology-neutral approach to taxpayer provided broadband funding.

CCAGW’s efforts also helped protect taxpayers in states including Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, Utah, and Virginia, from onerous price control legislation and restrictions on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).  These harmful pieces of legislation would have limited options for consumers, stifled medical innovation, and driven up the cost of life-saving medicines for millions of Americans.  CCAGW noted that PBMs serve more than 266 million Americans and will help save them more than $1 trillion in the cost of their prescriptions over the next 10 years.

Finally, CCAGW supported the successful adoption of a regulatory sandbox in Ohio.  First adopted in the United Kingdom in 2015, regulatory sandboxes open the door to innovation by providing businesses with a temporary reprieve from certain regulations in order to test a new product while reducing barriers to entry.  Under SB 249, the Buckeye state will join Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming with regulatory sandboxes that cut red tape and incentivize greater innovation.

States will continue to present challenges to taxpayers in 2023, and CCAGW will once again be leading and winning many battles to eliminate government waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.

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