Model Legislation

  •    |   Private Property

    Anti-Circumvention Forfeiture Act

    Protecting State Sovereignty from Federal Forfeiture Overreach

    Under civil forfeiture, the state can permanently confiscate your cash, car, and other property, without a prosecutor convicting, or even charging you with a crime. Although some states have acted to protect innocent property owners, a loophole still puts owners at risk. By participating in a federal forfeiture program known as “equitable sharing,” state and…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Braider Opportunity and Freedom Act

    Exempting Hair Braiders from Cosmetology Licensing Laws

    African-style hair braiding is a common and safe practice that has existed for thousands of years. It also offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs in African-American and African immigrant communities to support themselves and their families, start their own businesses and become their own bosses. Braiding is distinct from cosmetology. Yet to legally braid hair for…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Collateral Consequences in Occupational Licensing Act

    Eliminating Occupational Licensing Barriers for Ex-Offenders

    A job is one of the best ways for people with criminal records not to re-offend. But many occupational licensing laws block or burden ex-offenders. Many licensing laws have morality clauses that (1) bar automatically and permanently ex-offenders from working without any individualized review or (2) require the ex-offender to prove a negative—that the ex-offender’s…

  •    |   Private Property

    Criminal Forfeiture Process Act

    Replacing Civil Forfeiture and Ending Policing for Profit

    Civil forfeiture is a serious assault by government on cars, cash and other property. To lose your property in most states, prosecutors do not have to charge you, let alone convict you of a crime. And if you don’t engage in civil litigation, you may lose it in as few as 20 days. Worse, most…

  •    |   Educational Choice

    Education Savings Account Act: Publicly Funded

    Empowering parents to personalize their child’s education

    Our present system of delivering publicly funded education is in need of dramatic reform.  Educational choice programs provide that reform as they shift the power from state boards of education and school districts to parents.  Educational choice programs are growing in popularity with programs in more than half the states and Washington, DC. Education Savings…

  •    |   Educational Choice

    Education Savings Account Act: Tax-Credit Funded

    Using private funds to empower parents to customize their child’s education

    Our present system of delivering publicly funded education is in need of dramatic reform.  Educational choice programs provide that reform as they shift the power from state boards of education and school districts to parents.  Educational choice programs are growing in popularity with programs in more than half the states and Washington, DC. Education Savings…

  •    |   Private Property

    Eminent Domain Act

    Protecting Property Owners from Takings for Economic Development

    Despite mass public outcry following the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Kelo v. City of New London, eminent domain for private gain continues to threaten homeowners and small businesses. While 43 states reformed their laws to prevent Kelo-style takings after the Court’s decision in 2005, private developers and tax revenue-hungry politicians have found other…

  •    |   Private Property

    Fines and Fees Reporting Act

    Identifying When Fines and Fees are Abused to Generate Revenue

    Most municipalities allow law or code enforcement officers to cite residents for violations that may result in fines. Unfortunately, some use this power to generate revenue rather than solely to protect public safety and property. Frequently, this burden falls unequally on lower-income residents. “Taxation by citation” threatens trust in local governments, which can have disastrous…

  •    |   Private Property

    Fines and Fees at Sentencing Act

    Requiring Courts to Consider an Offender's Ability to Pay Before Assessing Fines and Fees at Sentencing

    Fines and fees are a routine part of criminal sentences. Many courts, however, fail to consider an offender’s ability to pay before assessing them. In fact, offenders often are ordered to pay fines and fees beyond their means. If they fail, offenders may become trapped in a never-ending debt cycle. In some states, unpaid fines…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Food Freedom Act

    Creating Opportunities for Home-based Entrepreneurs.

    Selling homemade food is a great way for entrepreneurs with big dreams but little capital to start a business. Working from their homes, they can avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars on commercial kitchen space. Customers, meanwhile, love buying fresh and affordable foods from members of their community. Although nearly every state allows for…

  • Home-Based Business and Occupation Act

    Updating Zoning Laws to Allow Home-Based Businesses

    The pre-COVID custom of Americans living in one place but working from another is historically unusual. As one scholar noted, “the phenomenon of leaving home to go to work did not become the norm until the Industrial Revolution.” Even then, home-based businesses never went away. As states began adopting the Standard Zoning Enabling Act (SZEA)…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act

    State legislation to remove unnecessary roadblocks for food truck entrepreneurs

    Everyone benefits from food trucks. With low start-up costs, food trucks offer first-time entrepreneurs the opportunity to experiment, accumulate capital and build businesses. For established restauranteurs, they are a means to expand, build their brands and complement their brick-and-mortar locations. For residents, food trucks enrich communities by increasing access to foods and cultures. For governments,…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Ordinance

    Municipal legislation to remove unnecessary roadblocks for food truck entrepreneurs

    Starting a food truck has helped many entrepreneurs realize the American dream. These mobile kitchens create jobs and provide an economic boost to the communities they serve. Unfortunately, many counties and cities make it near to impossible for food trucks to operate. Some even ban food trucks altogether—often at the bequest of brick-and-mortar businesses that…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Niche-Beauty Services Opportunity Act

    Exempting Hairstylists and Other Specialty Providers from Cosmetology Licensing

    Hairstyling salons, commonly known as ‘blow dry bars’, are experiencing increased popularity across the country. Unlike traditional cosmetology salons, hairstyling salons offer safe, limited services including shampooing, blow drying and styling hair. These specialty salons do not cut hair or use chemicals or dyes. New hairstyling salons are becoming a favored specialty provider for consumers…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Occupational Licensing Review Act

    Reforming Occupational Licensing Boards following NC Dental Board v. FTC

    Occupational licensing is one the biggest issues in labor economics today. About 25% of workers needs a government-issued license to work. That represents a five-fold increase since the 1950s, when only about 5% of workers were licensed. It also dwarfs the shares of workers today who are union members (11% of all workers) or minimum-wage…

  • Protecting Everyone’s Constitutional Rights Act

    A State Legislative Solution to Problems Caused by the Federal Judiciary’s Creation of Qualified Immunity

    Qualified immunity is a judge-made doctrine that shields local, state and federal government officials–not just police–from accountability. In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court created the doctrine to ensure, in its words, it would be difficult for constitutional claims to get to trial. The doctrine significantly impacts claims filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1871.…

  • Protection of All Property From Warrantless Searches Act

    A State Solution to Federal Erosion of Fourth Amendment Protection of Open Fields

    The Fourth Amendment protects the right of the people to be secure from government’s unchecked power to search and seize. Ordinarily, courts enforce that right by requiring a warrant before government officials enter private property. But in 1924, the U.S. Supreme Court held the Fourth Amendment does not protect certain private land—what it called “open…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Salon Inspection Act

    Replacing Barber and Cosmetology Occupational Licenses with Salon Facility Licenses and Inspections

    The beauty industry offers great opportunities for work and entrepreneurship. However, states erect roadblocks by requiring barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians and nail technicians to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to attend schools and gain occupational licenses. The time and money spent getting an individual license comes at a great cost to aspiring beauty…

  •    |   Private Property

    Seizure and Forfeiture Reporting Act

    Providing Data to State Legislators to Monitor Forfeiture

    Civil forfeiture—where the government can take and keep your property without ever charging you with a crime, let alone convicting you of one—is one of the greatest threats to property rights in the nation. Such forfeitures often supplement the budgets of police, sheriff and prosecutors’ offices, giving them a direct financial incentive to abuse this…

  •    |   Economic Liberty

    Universal Recognition of Occupational Licenses Act

    Breaking Down Barriers to Interstate Mobility

    Occupational licenses often are barriers to worker mobility. One state will not recognize another state’s license because personal qualifications differ. And even when some recognition is included in statutes, state laws often impose significant costs—in time and money—for a worker to have the second state recognize his license. Of course, a worker does not lose…

  •    |   Private Property

    Vegetable Garden Protection Act

    Protecting the Right to Grow Food from Zoning Codes

    People have used their property to grow food since the dawn of modern civilization. Americans are no different. Our national identity is rooted in the Jeffersonian ideal of farmers and settlers. Even as fewer people earn their living as farmers, many Americans still use their property to grow food. In these difficult times, countless more…

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