The Buckeye Institute is a non-partisan public-policy think tank that advocates for individual liberty, free enterprise, personal responsibility, and limited government in Ohio. Founded in 1989, the Institute promotes free-market policies in the state with the intention of replicating similar policies across the country. 1
The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center is a public interest law firm that handles cases involving government overreach and constitutional rights violations. The Legal Center advocates for public policies that support criminal justice reform, worker freedom, and property rights. 2
The Buckeye Institute is an affiliate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations. 3 While the Buckeye Institute is non-partisan, a member of its staff has an affiliation with the Republican Party.
The Buckeye Institute advocates for education reform that includes parental school choice, education savings accounts, and allowing schools to choose their own tests, rules, and pay structures. 4 In September 2021, the Institute filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Carson v. Makin claiming that the “nonsectarian” school provision in Maine’s tuition assistance program violates the U.S. Constitution because it denies financial aid to students attending religious schools. 5
The Buckeye Institute advocates for health care policies that would increase coverage, quality, and affordability. 6 The Institute claims that the Affordable Care Act has created problems in the American health care system and has unnecessarily increased health care costs. The Buckeye Institute supports policies that would reduce regulations and increase competition in an effort to lower costs and increase access to care. 7
The Economic Research Center (ERC) at the Buckeye Institute provides research and dynamic economic modeling designed to assist citizens and policymakers in understanding the impact of public policy on the economy, businesses, families, jobs, and state revenues. ERC conducts research on issues that include tax policy, government spending, and energy and health care policy. ERC demonstrates the costs of policy changes and claims to have saved taxpayers more than $3 billion in 10 states since 2016. 8
The Buckeye Institute is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While the Buckeye Institute does not disclose its donors, tax filings confirm donations from Donors Capital Fund ($417,300 in 2016), 9 the Searle Freedom Trust ($350,000 in 2018), 10 and the Charles Koch Foundation ($155,000 in 2017). 11
Robert Alt is the president, CEO, and member of the board of the Buckeye Institute and founder of its Economic Research Center and Legal Center. Alt is the former director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Alt serves on the board of the Columbus Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. 12
Rea Hederman, Jr. is the vice president of policy at the Buckeye Institute and the executive director of its Economic Research Center. Hederman is a founding member and former director of the Center for Data Analysis (CDA) at the Heritage Foundation. 13
Michael Franc is a senior fellow at the Buckeye Institute and was formerly the director of D.C. programs at the Hoover Institution. Franc formerly worked as vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation and as policy director and counsel for then-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R). 14
Andrew Grossman is a visiting legal fellow at the Buckeye Institute and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Grossman formerly worked as a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. 16
Board of Trustees
Bradley Smith is the chair of the board of trustees. Smith is the founder and chair of the Institute for Free Speech, chair of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, and a member of the Election Law and Free Speech Practice Group at the Federalist Society. Smith formerly served on the Federal Election Commission. 17
- “About.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/about/.
- “Legal Center.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/centers/detail/legal-center.
- “The Network: Ohio.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed November 3, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#OH.
- “Education.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/issues/detail/education.
- “The Buckeye Institute Calls on U.S. Supreme Court to Protect the Constitutional Rights of Parents.” The Buckeye Institute, September 10, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/research/detail/the-buckeye-institute-calls-on-us-supreme-court-to-protect-the-constitutional-rights-of-parents.
- “Health Care.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/issues/detail/health-care.
- “The Buckeye Institute: Health Care Challenges Remain Under Affordable Care Act.” The Buckeye Institute, June 17, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/research/detail/the-buckeye-institute-health-care-challenges-remain-under-affordable-care-act.
- “Economic Research Center.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/centers/detail/economic-research-center.
- Donors Capital Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Schedule I, Part II.
- The Searle Freedom Trust, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV, Line 3a.
- Charles Koch Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3a.
- “Robert Alt.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/robert-alt.
- “Rea S. Hederman Jr.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/rea-s-hederman-jr.
- “Michael G. Franc.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/michael-g-franc.
- “Logan Kolas.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/logan-kolas.
- “Andrew M. Grossman.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/andrew-m-grossman.
- “Bradley A. Smith.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/bradley-a-smith.
- “Mark D. Jordan.” The Buckeye Institute, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/experts/detail/mark-d-jordan.