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Generation Opportunity

Generation Opportunity Launches Paid Ad Campaign Showing Young Americans the Benefits of Tax Reform and the Importance of Making it Permanent

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Today Generation Opportunity (GO), a group that advocates for policies to improve the lives of young Americans, is launching an ad campaign that shows young Americans how the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will provide more take home pay and greater economic opportunity to millennials, and calls on lawmakers to make this tax reform permanent. The new paid ad will target millennials on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE AD. “Have you compared your most recent paycheck to one from January,” the video asks. “You really should. Odds are, you may notice a little extra money.” The ad is part of a larger push by a network of affiliated groups, which have announced plans to spend up to $20 million this year around the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. GO’s efforts are specifically aimed at educating young people about the benefits of the new tax code and encouraging them to urge their legislators to make this tax relief permanent. The new campaign is also geared toward counteracting the false message being pushed by tax reform opponents that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a bad deal for the average American — a talking point not supported by the facts. Generation Opportunity Policy Director David Barnes issued the following statement: “The new tax reform law is creating more opportunities, driving up wages and allowing young Americans to keep more of what we earn each paycheck. At a time when our generation faces many unique financial challenges, having more money to save, spend or invest in our future is exactly what we need. Our ad campaign gives young people the opportunity to see how this law is improving their financial wellbeing and expanding economic opportunity for future generations.” The ad links to a website the group created highlighting the benefits of the tax reform law and allowing users to contact their members of Congress to urge them to make the new tax relief permanent. Click here…

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House Committee to Hold Hearing on Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the FCC’s recently-passed Restore Internet Freedom Order. This measure ended what many refer to as ‘net neutrality’ by reclassifying the internet under Title I of the Communications Act instead of Title II – a provision designed to govern 1930’s-era technology. The move was strongly supported by Generation Opportunity (GO), a group that advocates for policies to improve the lives of young Americans. Republican lawmakers are reportedly interested in clarifying the rules governing the internet with legislation codifying the principles into law to end the regulatory uncertainty faced by consumers, digital companies, and the telecom industry. GO Policy Director David Barnes had the following comment about today’s hearing: “For years now, we’ve been hearing politicians claim that the repeal of so-called netneutrality rules will be the ‘end of the internet as we know it.’ Several months after the rollback of these regulations, the internet remains as innovative and accessible as ever after all the needless hysteria. We hope the House Energy and Commerce Committee will recognize the numerous benefits of this deregulatory move and start the conversation about putting legislation on the books protecting the FCC’s actions.” To speak with David Barnes about this issue, contact Jim Fellinger at JFellinger@genopp.org. The FCC under the Obama Administration passed a plan to reclassify internet service providers (ISPs) as a utility under Title II regulations of the Communications Act and apply that classification to wireless data. Previously, ISPs were regulated under less restrictive Title I rules. Background: Unnecessary and invasive “net neutrality” rules represented a massive power grab into the online economy, making it easier for the federal government to control the content that goes online and appears in search engines. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has correctly noted that Title II rules are too burdensome and stifle innovation, and that the Restore Internet Freedom…

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Instead of Evening its Playing Field, Maryland Prepares to Hand Out Over $8 Billion in Corporate Welfare

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) is likely to sign a bill funding a new incentive package worth roughly $8.5 billion in taxpayer funds, one of the largest such offers ever made to a single corporation. The Promoting Extraordinary Innovation in Maryland’s Economy Act, which passed Wednesday, includes billions in property, income and sales tax credits from the state and Montgomery County, MD. Generation Opportunity (GO), a group that advocates for policies to improve the lives of young Americans, is strongly opposed to government at all levels handing out corporate welfare deals like this. Such giveaways burden taxpayers and help select businesses gain an unfair advantage over others who don’t benefit from the same special insider deals and carve outs. GO Policy Director David Barnes issued the following comment: “Maryland’s $8.5 billion corporate welfare offer is an outrageous example of government putting its thumb on the scale to pick winners and losers. Lawmakers shouldn’t be bending over backwards for Amazon or any one company – they should be creating fair systems in which all businesses can compete on an even playing field.” Background: Amazon has announced its intention to construct a second headquarters in a major American city and 238 cities and regions initially submitted bids for the project. In February, GO launched a digital advertising campaign geo-targeting the 19 American markets still courting Amazon, including Maryland. Click here to view that ad. Maryland’s offer is the most costly of all the remaining public bids for which there is publicly available information. As Maryland Assemblyman Herb McMillan (R) pointed out, for the same amount of money, the state could cut its corporate tax rate — one of the highest in the nation — in half for a decade. Read More:  Amazon HQ2: Cities Should Stop Wasting Money on Corporate Handouts San Jose, CA Mayor Sam Liccardo: Why I’m Not Bidding…

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Raising Virginia’s Felony Threshold Will Give Young People a Second Chance

By | Press Releases

Richmond, VA – Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law HB 1550, a bill that raises the threshold for people caught stealing low-dollar items from being branded as felons. The measure, which was brought about through a compromise reached by Governor Northam and Republican leaders, raises the state’s felony threshold from $200 to $500. Virginia has kept its felony bar at $200 since 1980 and was tied with New Jersey for the lowest felony threshold in the country. A low felony threshold has led to longer prison terms for crimes that would entail significantly less disciplinary action in other states around the nation. Generation Opportunity-Virginia (GO-VA), a group that advocates for policies that benefit the lives of younger Americans, worked closely with lawmakers to support this reform because the group believes young people who make mistakes deserve a second chance after they have paid their debt to society, and that a punishment should fit the crime. Jacob Fish, spokesman for GO-VA, issued the following statement: “We all make mistakes when we are young and slapping an unnecessarily high sentence on a minor offense can turn a wayward young person into a hardened criminal. Raising the felony threshold will maintain important public safety standards while helping prevent Virginians from being branded for life as dangerous criminals due to youthful indiscretions. It is important to protect the victims of theft while still ensuring that the punishment fits the severity of the offense. We applaud Governor Northam for signing this long overdue measure into law and encourage Virginia lawmakers to continue pushing for policies that will improve criminal justice in our commonwealth.” Background: According to the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, since 2000, well over half of all US states have raised their felony theft thresholds. Raising the threshold will save Virginia taxpayers millions annually. Larceny convictions accounted for 1 out of every 4 individuals incarcerated in 2012, at a cost of approximately $25,000 a year per individual. In 2008, the Virginia Department of Corrections estimated that adjusting the threshold to only $500 would save taxpayers more than $3.5 million in…

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NC Taxpayers Forced to Fork Over Another $9 Million in Corporate Welfare

By | Press Releases

Raleigh, NC – Today, the North Carolina Department of Commerce announced a new tax incentive package for Corvid Technologies LLC worth $9,000,750 spread over 12 years. Generation Opportunity-North Carolina (GO-NC) strongly opposes this corporate welfare, which hurts taxpayers and disadvantages young entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the state.  GO-NC Spokesman Tyler Voigt issued the following statement:  “There’s no need for Gov. Cooper to continue doling out taxpayer dollars to special interests when North Carolina already has one of the strongest corporate tax policies in the entire nation and has consistently been ranked as one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Governor Cooper’s unfair handouts to favored businesses represents corporate welfare that hurts taxpayers, promotes cronyism and tilts the odds against those who don’t benefit from the same insider deals. Rather than picking winners and losers, Gov. Cooper should be working to improve North Carolina’s economy by creating a level playing field for all businesses to compete on.” Background: Many economists have pointed out that corporate welfare deals like this frequently provide little to no benefit to the taxpayers who are forced to subsidize them. Unfortunately, Gov. Cooper doesn’t seem to be listening. To date, he has committed nearly $180 million in public funds to hand-picked corporations through the One North Carolina Fund and Job Development Investment Grant Program. These unfair giveaways make no sense. North Carolina already has one of the strongest corporate tax policies in the entire nation and has consistently been ranked as one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Instead of continuing to hand out taxpayer dollars to large special interests, the state should focus on ways to improve its economy for everyone. GO-NC has created a digital tool that allows North Carolinians to contact Governor Cooper in opposition to the corporate welfare policies he has enacted. GO-NC has also been vocal in its opposition to the state’s attempts to woo tech giant Amazon through corporate welfare. ### Generation Opportunity is a national, nonpartisan movement for more freedom, better opportunities,…

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New Hampshire’s Bail and Annulment Procedures Need an Update

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Today, Generation Opportunity will submit testimony to the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in support of SB 556-FN, a bill that would positively reform the state’s bail and annulment procedures. This measure would protect the rights of the accused and allow citizens who are found innocent to petition to have the arrest annulled from their records. Generation Opportunity (GO) is urging New Hampshire lawmakers to advance this legislation because the state’s current bail system is rigged against lower-income citizens and can destroy the lives of people who are making an honest effort to follow the law. Additionally, individuals shouldn’t struggle to find work as a result of arrests for which they are found innocent. To read Generation Opportunity’s full testimony, click here. GO Policy Director David Barnes issued the following statement: “New Hampshire’s legislators must seize the opportunity to pass SB 556-FN to ensure we aren’t incarcerating citizens based on their inability to meet bail requirements. A jail sentence should stem from an individual’s criminality, not their level of income. SB 556-FN would guarantee a citizen who is found innocent after being charged with a crime has the opportunity to annul their record and not have future job opportunities hindered. We applaud Chairman David Welch and the members of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee for giving this critical issue attention and we stand in support of their effort to advance this measure.” If you are interested in learning more or speaking with David Barnes about this issue, please contact: JFellinger@genopp.org. Background: GO believes that sending an individual to jail should be a function of their criminality, not their income level. The group supports comprehensive reform to U.S. criminal justice policies. Excessive laws and harsh sentencing disproportionately impact young Americans. Nine out of ten defendants who remain in jail…

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FCC Announces Removal of Regulatory Obstacles to 5G Deployment

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Today, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brandon Carr announced a new proposal to boost innovation in America’s 5G mobile network at an event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association. Generation Opportunity (GO) Policy Director David Barnes issued the following statement: “Keeping the 5G network open to innovation by removing inessential government barriers will allow the next generation of mobile technology to provide more value for all of society. Young Americans have made incredible advances through technology and strengthening this platform will only afford them a greater opportunity to transform society. Removing obstacles to allow the 5G network to develop is critical to the future of American technological innovation, and we applaud Commissioner Carr for proposing the elimination of these needless hurdles.” To speak with David Barnes about this issue, contact JFellinger@genopp.org. The plan will streamline certain bureaucratic hurdles in the deployment of 5G infrastructure. Among other changes, it would help by exempting certain outdated and unnecessary environmental reviews under NEPA and NHPA. Background: A new 5G mobile network will mean greater speed to move data, lower latency to be more responsive, and the ability to connect more devices at once for sensors and smart devices. The FCC will be voting on this plan at its March 22, 2018, open meeting. Last month, GO supported FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s opposition to “any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network.” The group believes that America’s 5G mobile network should not be seized and controlled by the federal government. ### Generation Opportunity is a national, nonpartisan movement for more freedom, better opportunities, and a brighter future for all young Americans.

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‘Net Neutrality’: A Waste of Time Then and a Waste of Time Now

By | Press Releases

Arlington, VA – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced that Democrats in the Senate are close to having enough support for a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to overturn the FCC’s recently-passed Restore Internet Freedom Order. This measure ended what many refer to as ‘net neutrality’ by reclassifying the internet under Title I of the Communications Act instead of Title II – a provision designed to govern 1930’s-era technology. Despite the effort underway in the Senate, the resolution is unlikely to come to the floor and its odds of passage in the House are virtually non-existent. Generation Opportunity (GO) Policy Director David Barnes issued the following statement: “It’s beyond sad that half the U.S. Senate has been duped into believing the talking point that the FCC’s “Restore Internet Freedom Order” is the ‘end of the internet as we know it.’ The reality is, the so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules that the FCC recently scrapped didn’t protect the internet — they stifled the internet’s growth by subjecting it to regulations meant to govern technology from the 1930’s. In case any Senators missed the news, tech companies, themselves, have pointed out that those regulations discouraged the industry from innovating new products and services. “Before the previous administration put its ‘net neutrality’ rules in place, the internet wasn’t broken, it was flourishing. And since the FCC correctly ended these heavy-handed regulations, the internet hasn’t devolved into a dystopian wasteland, but rather, the tech industry has announced billions of dollars in new investments aimed at creating a better internet for customers. “’Net neutrality’ has always been and will always be a counterproductive Washington-solution in search of a nonexistent problem. With so many pertinent and serious issues facing our nation, Congress needs to stop wasting time on this senseless idea.” For more information or to speak with a policy expert from Generation Opportunity, contact JFellinger@genopp.org. Background: The FCC under the Obama Administration passed a…

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Generation Opportunity Launches Mail Campaign Thanking FL Legislators for Supporting Campus Free Speech

By | Press Releases

Tallahassee, FL – Generation Opportunity-Florida (GO-FL) is thanking a pair of Florida lawmakers for introducing legislation in the state House and Senate aiming to improve the free speech climate at Florida’s publicly funded college and university campuses. This week, GO-FL released mail thanking Rep. Bob Rommel (R-HD106) and Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-SD12) for introducing House (HB-909) and Senate (SB-1234) versions of a bill ending so-called “free speech zones” on publicly funded college and university campuses. These deceptively titled zones actually restrict students from exercising their constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights by restricting free expression to sanctioned and pre-determined zones. Both measures are titled the Campus Free Expression Act. Click on the hyperlinks to view the full-size images of the mail pieces for Rep. Rommel and Sen. Baxley. GO-FL Coalitions Director Demetrius Minor issued the following comment: “Free expression is under attack on college campuses here in Florida and across the nation. We believe that free speech zones have no place in our state’s higher education institutions and the entire campus, not just a zone, should be a place where students and faculty are free to express their beliefs. “Our mail campaign will educate Floridians about the efforts of two state legislators who are fighting to protect free speech on campus. We applaud Rep. Rommel and Sen. Baxley for championing this issue and encourage their legislative colleagues to support them.” Background: According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), nearly one in six universities maintain free speech zones – a space designed to limit your ability to hold “rallies, demonstrations, distribute literature, circulate petitions and give speeches.” Permission is usually required to use these “speech zones,” and applications must be approved by the university days or even weeks in advance. GO-FL believes the entire college campus should be a free speech zone, not just one area. A recent Brookings Institute Study found one in five…

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