The Pew Research Center’s January 2019 survey of U.S. adults resulted in an interesting list of priorities for President Trump and the U.S. Congress. The top three? The economy, health care costs, and education. But why wait for the federal government and federal officials to take action? Certainly, let’s hope their decisions rein in spending, open up markets, and break down barriers. But with gridlock upon us and the 2020 presidential cycle foremost in politicians’ minds, let’s realize there is a productive alternate route: the states.

North Carolina has a track record of enacting sound economic policies over the past half dozen years, as JLF’s Becki Gray explains.

Those actions have resulted in low unemployment and rising opportunity. .

In the K-12 education arena, state lawmakers have passed multiple pay raises for teachers and empowered parents with more choices to meet the individualized needs and aptitudes of their kids. When it comes to health care costs, we have lots of work to do. The state can — and should — take steps to expand access to health care and lower costs. 

I understand the fixation on Washington, but I hope we all remember that state lawmakers have tangible influence over our economic future.