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A Reflection on States and Nation Policy Summit: Lee Schalk on La Crosse Talk with Mike Hayes

ALEC’s Vice President of Policy, Lee Schalk, reflects on what lawmakers were able to accomplish at ALEC’s State and Nation Policy summit in Washington D.C. on La Crosse Talk with Mike Hayes. 

Mike Hayes: They just wrapped up their State and Nation policy summit in Washington DC. How did it go? You had some great speakers. What were you able to accomplish?

Lee Schalk: Sharing best practices from the states — what’s working and what’s not as we compete for residents and job creators. And number two, how can we restore the balance of power back to the states away from Washington DC with its federal bureaucracy  growing out of control. And that was a huge theme for our members this week.

Mike Hayes: Well, and with the Supreme Court taking up the college loan forgiveness issue, they expect a hearing or some results sometime early summer. That’s the kind of thing you’re talking about where governments, state governments say no federal government will handle it on our own.

Lee Schalk: I think with the student loan issue, it seemed like by and large, almost everybody was coming out against this. Whether you had already paid off your loans, you were going to be upset about that, or maybe you didn’t go to college and so you’re subsidizing somebody’s liberal arts degree, you’re going to work every day. Why do you want to be having your tax dollars go back to pay somebody’s federal student loans? And so I think on that issue particularly, we saw just so many people be unified against it.

Mike Hayes: How do you convince those states who are in some cases very dependent on federal help or governance to internalize and stop looking to Washington DC. For direction?

Lee Schalk: : Well, I think the beauty of the 50 states. We call them the 50 laboratories of democracy. And if you go state to state, the people of each state and their elected leaders, they can decide what’s best for themselves, and we’re able to see what’s working and what’s not.

Listen to the full interview