by Brittany Raymer
Digital Writer & Editor
The John Locke Foundation has won Biggest Home State Win award as part of the annual national State Policy Network (SPN) meeting in Atlanta. SPN announced the winners of the Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievements at an evening reception, which is comprised of four awards recognizing accomplishments in local state governments.
The State Policy Network (SPN) is a connection of state-based think tanks that aim to champion liberty across the country. As the federal government has encroached more and more on the freedoms described in the Constitution, members of SPN, like John Locke, are standing in the gap.
As part of this effort, Locke championed North Carolina’s 2021 First in Freedom Budget, which pushed through several key policies that make life a bit better for those living in the Tar Heel State. These include reducing the personal income tax rate from 5.25% to 3.99% by 2026, increasing the standard deduction, eliminating the state’s corporate income tax by 2029, holding the line on Medicaid expansion, expanding the Opportunity Scholarship Program for 19,000 lower-income families and Educational Savings Accounts for families of special needs students, and reforming the state’s Emergency Management Act. The budget also did not include any new debt.
It’s passing was not only a win for Locke’s policy makers and researchers, but for North Carolinians as well. The members of SPN agreed, voting NC’s leading liberty-based thinktank as the award recipient of the Biggest Home State Win.
“At this time, when it is glaringly obvious that DC is so badly broken, I see in this room, solutions in innovation,” Locke CEO Amy O. Cooke said as she accepted the award on Locke’s behalf. “To have been named a winner among those finalists is even more of an honor and so incredibly humbling.”
Some of the other programs nominated for this award were the Alaska Policy Foundation for it’s Alaska Reads Act, the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s: A Little Less Conversation…A Lot More Spending education initiative, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Improving Texas’ Education Outcomes program.
The other Bob William’s Awards includes Biggest Win for Freedom, Most Influential Research and Best Issue Campaign.
The purpose of SPN is to help gather those who advocate for liberty and give them the tools and resources that can successfully help them impact local communities across the country.
To many in this policy space, Bob Williams best exemplified the mission and the goals of SPN.
Described as a policy maven, William’s “dedicated his life to promoting responsible government and identifying practical ways government could better serve their communities by getting their own fiscal operations in order.” In honor of his legacy and leadership, SPN launched the Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement in 2017.
Williams passed away on March 15, 2022. Locke’s award is a wonderful honor for the organization, but that doesn’t mean the work is over. In order to secure North Carolina’s future, Locke will continue to work on behalf of the people to make this state the best in the nation for individuals, families and businesses