On the eve of the return of state Representative and Senators to Legislative plaza, the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s new advocacy arm, Beacon Impact, released its agenda for 2018.
Among its initiatives for this year are to reduce regulation and licensing restrictions for blue-collar service workers like locksmiths and hair braiders; to pass meaningful criminal justice reform that emphasizes a productive life after prison; and to pursue Medicaid reforms designed to improve quality of life for the program’s recipients.
The statement reads:
NASHVILLE – Beacon Impact, the advocacy partner of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, has just released its 2018 legislative agenda, which focuses on the areas of criminal justice reform, reducing occupational licensure requirements, and exploring Medicaid reforms.
Beacon Impact’s 2018 policy agenda will focus on the following policy solutions:
Reduce and eliminate red tape for the occupations named in the Dirty Dozen. These are occupations where burdensome regulations have made it nearly impossible for low-income and blue-collar workers to earn an honest living. Some examples of occupations in need of reduced barriers include hair braiders, locksmiths, and animal massage therapists.
Pass criminal justice reforms that save taxpayer money while also making Tennessee safer. In 2018, this includes working on Fresh Start legislation so that those with a criminal record cannot be denied a license for an occupation unrelated to the crime they committed. It also includes juvenile justice reform so that juveniles who commit crimes are treated more consistently and fairly across the state. Beacon Impact will also work to try to better incentivize positive outcomes in local jails, such as re-entry programs.
Explore Medicaid reforms that include work requirements and other solutions that improve the quality of care for those currently in the Medicaid system.
Beacon Impact is a 501(c)4, founded at the end of November, 2017. Regarding the new effort, Justin Owen (pictured), who is the CEO of both Beacon Impact and the Beacon Center of Tennessee, said:
The Beacon Center has a solid track record of developing policy solutions grounded in the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government. We have also successfully shepherded many of these solutions into law. But it’s not enough. We need the ability to advocate for meaningful reform both inside and outside the state Capitol, in the halls of the legislature and local governments, and also on the ground in our communities. Beacon Impact will be our strategic partner to turn our ideas into action at all levels.