Listed below are all Platte Institute publications. To the left, you can browse these publications by publication type or policy area.
Platte Institute Publications
March 07, 2014
Proposed state legislative changes would prioritize community-based services and alternatives to detention for juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent. These proposals represent a serious effort to implement evidence-based juvenile justice practices that will both save Nebraska taxpayer dollars and more effectively address juvenile offenses and the factors that cause them. Nebraska taxpayers deserve a justice system that enhances public safety and reduces crime instead of merely reacting to it. Juvenile justice reform is an essential part of attaining those goals.
March 05, 2014
With tax reform at the forefront of legislative discussions, Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard discusses LB1097, and the benefits of tax reform in Nebraska.
March 04, 2014
The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board’s latest projection for state revenues in the current biennium present lawmakers with a golden opportunity. The additional $99 million in projected revenue means that the State of Nebraska is on even firmer financial footing than previously thought. For policymakers with some apprehension about tax reform, the news means that changes in tax policy that come with a fiscal note just became a lot more affordable. News of this latest projection should also shore up the resolve of lawmakers who have already been pursuing tax relief for Nebraska.
February 26, 2014
Nebraska has a strong tradition of parent-controlled education. It is home to the 1923 Supreme Court ruling in Meyer vs State of Nebraska, affirming the right of parents to control their children’s education. However, Nebraska is one of the few states without a charter school system, something which would greatly improve the ability of parents to continue to guide this aspect of their children’s lives.
February 19, 2014 | by Scott Drenkard
In October of 2013, in partnership with the Platte Institute, Joe Henchman and Scott Drenkard authored a policy study titled Building on Success: A Guide to Fair, Simple, Pro-Growth Tax Reform for Nebraska. The authors' goal was to get the conversation started on sound tax reform ideas in Nebraska, and this last week that conversation percolated up in the Revenue Committee.
One major proposal in one of the bills being discussed is a reduction of the top corporate income tax rate from 7.81 to 5.9 percent by 2017. A 5.9 percent corporate income tax would make Nebraska competitive with more of its neighbors: Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas all currently have lower rates, and South Dakota and Wyoming do not levy corporate income taxes at all.
Another proposal discussed by members of the committee would lower the top individual income tax rate from 6.84 percent to 5.9 percent by 2017. This particular proposal would cuts taxes on the lowest bracket immediately and then phases in reductions to the upper brackets. Roughly half of all business income is filed through the individual income tax code, so these individual income tax cuts will work in concert with the corporate rate cut to promote job growth and a more attractive business locale.
February 14, 2014
Nebraska’s current correctional policy is unsustainable. While prisons are necessary to protect the public from violent, dangerous, and chronic offenders, an emphasis on incarcerating nonviolent offenders without a focus on proven strategies for changing offender behavior, both behind bars and in the community, will not provide Nebraska taxpayers a good public safety return on their dollars. This is the central finding of the Platte Institute’s new paper produced in collaboration with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, entitled “Controlling Costs and Protecting Public Safety in the Cornhusker State.”
February 12, 2014
The Nebraska Legislature is currently considering an “alternative” plan to expand Medicaid eligibility, which it calls the Wellness in Nebraska (WIN) plan. This program sets forth numerous goals, namely that it will protect the most vulnerable, promote personal responsibility, reduce uncompensated care and provide budget stability. Unfortunately, this new proposal is unlikely to meet any of these objectives.
February 05, 2014
This study carefully examines both LB 999 and LB 907, as well as other successful prison reform options from across the country. Further, the policy paper includes a list of recommendations for policy makers to further improve corrections in Nebraska and ensure that public safety is not compromised. Cost implications of continued policies are also examined.
February 05, 2014
It is clear that Medicaid expansion will drive up health care costs in Nebraska. It is clear that it will result in more tax dollars being spent on Medicaid. What is not clear is that there will be any benefit in terms of making Nebraska a healthier state.
The scheduled tapering off of federal funds for the program between now and 2020 will predictably increase the financial burden on states that expand Medicaid. Nebraska taxpayers would be on the hook for the additional dollars necessary to make up the difference. Those are potential dollars for schools or roads that will instead be going to pay for Medicaid.
What’s more, the state’s own cost estimates are an educated guess. They cannot be rigorously projected because plan premiums will fluctuate year to year. And the predictable over-utilization incentivized by these programs will almost certainly drive those premiums up.