Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: December 30th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – Registration is now open for the Foundation’s first event of 2012. Celebrating National School Choice Week, “Breaking Down Barriers to High Quality Education in Georgia” is the topic of the Leadership Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25, at Cobb Country’s Georgian Club. The panel discussion features Lisa Kelly, president of the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program; Dean Alford, president and chief executive officer of Allied Energy Services, and Lisa Gillis, president of Integrated Educational Strategies. The event will cost $25 to attend. Register by Monday, January 23, at http://tinyurl.com/cjtrzye. If you haven’t made your end-of-year contribution to the Foundation yet, there’s still time for you to demonstrate your support for smaller government by lowering your View Article
Georgia’s eleventh-hour cancellation of a toll concession project on managed lanes along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties is a decision with enormous ramifications. It impacts mobility for one of the region’s most congested corridors, the thousands of jobs that would have been created in the process, and future opportunities to attract private investor partners to fund and expedite much-needed infrastructure. The state Department of Transportation calls public-private partnerships “a critical element of Georgia’s plans for sustainable investment in transportation.” Now fingers are being pointed in numerous directions over the cancellation of the promising west by northwest corridor, a move that astounded the three companies on the short list to build the billion-dollar project then manage the 60-year… View Article

Friday Facts: December 23rd, 2011

It’s Friday! I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading the Friday Facts. Our staff (no, it’s not just me even though I get to sign it!) works hard every week scouring a tremendous amount of information to bring you the best of the best on Friday mornings. And if you want more than the Friday Facts once a week, “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy, where you can access daily similar posts from the Foundation. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2011. It was a wonderful opportunity to thank our founder, Hank McCamish, for his vision and belief that if you give Georgians access to the truth they will make the right decisions. As you… View Article
Georgia should establish a small business health insurance marketplace outside the “additional layers of cost, complexity and rigidity” associated with federal health care reform mandates. That is the recommendation from a twenty-five member committee appointed by Governor Nathan Deal.   The political question will soon become:  Should Georgia begin that process now or wait until after next summer’s highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court health care reform decision? The Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee report issued Monday proposed development of an exchange “through private or limited quasi-governmental means” as either a non-profit or public corporation.  The report did not establish a timetable.  A minority view said the 2012 Legislature should “authorize a basic structure for an individual health insurance exchange” that… View Article

CAPCOs: Higher Costs + Fewer Jobs = Risky Idea

It’s an ugly secret that Georgia is losing talent, tax revenues and jobs. While the state is a “technology and scientific research powerhouse, 92 cents of every venture capital dollar invested in Georgia companies comes from out of state,” according to testimony last month by the executive director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech, Stephen Fleming. “We lose many smart entrepreneurs and promising startups to other states because venture capital firms want a closer eye on their investments,” Fleming said. Why is this important? Startups like these are responsible for all of the net new job growth in the U.S. over the last three decades, according to the Kauffman Foundation. If legislators are truly focused on “jobs, jobs,… View Article
That the progress in improving this nation’s air quality is hidden in hazy environmental reporting is no surprise: How would one notice improvements when only “problems” are emphasized? Unfortunately, headlines such as, “Kids with asthma head indoors during smog season” and “September smog violations highest in a decade” do nothing to convey the reality; they skew perception. Visibility in the Eastern United States, which has always been the worst, has improved dramatically in the last three decades. Yet as late as 2004, the New York Times called the view in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park “a pollution-rich brew of sulfates that scatter light and small particles that obscure it.” It’s no wonder 93 percent of Americans polled in 2007… View Article

Friday Facts: December 16th, 2011

It’s Friday! – This year, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrated 20 years of policy over politics in Georgia. As we move into 2012, we appreciate the crucial contributions of our members and supporters in our successes of 2011. There’s still an opportunity to demonstrate your support for smaller government: Lower your tax bill! Your end-of-year contribution to the Foundation is tax-deductible. The Foundation is chartered under federal law as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donate by the end of the year: Go tohttp://tinyurl.com/3y27zfm. – Stocking stuffer ideas: Please your liberty-minded friends at Christmas and help the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation has been promised the proceeds from a book co-authored by Georgia Congressman Tom Price, “Saving View Article
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November fell below 10 percent for the first time since June and the state is celebrating the largest one-month rate decline in 34 years.  Flip the coin and Georgia has exceeded the national rate for 52 consecutive months.  Almost one-half million Georgians are officially counted as unemployed. The state reported 9.9 percent official unemployment in November, down three-tenths of one percent from October.  Some but not all improvement is related to holiday season temporary hiring.  “We had the best November since 2007 for retail hiring, while seeing gains in the financial and business sectors,” said state labor commissioner Mark Butler. Georgia reported 467,722 official unemployed in November, down from 486,609 one year earlier.  State… View Article

What Can Georgia Learn from Portland Light-Rail?

By Robert Helin, Policy Foundation Intern The Georgia Public Policy Foundation hosted its final Leadership Breakfast of 2011 on December 14, featuring  John Charles, President and CEO of Oregon’s Cascade Policy Institute. Charles’ presentation, “Portland: Model or Maverick?” focused on Portland’s approach to land use, especially as it applies to the city’s insistence on developing light rail at the expense of bus and automobile use. He highlighted how the city has pursued honorable intentions with poor policy and flawed logic.  Watch his presentation on the Policy Foundation’s YouTube Channel. Portland’s vision of combining mixed-use development (a zoning practice of mixing residential housing with commercial businesses) with easy access to the light-rail system has proven to be an abject failure,… View Article
Georgia was ranked 48th — third from the bottom nationally – beating out just Utah and Arizona – in a federal analysis of personal health care spending per capita, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.   The report analyzed all spending, not just government budget expenses. Georgia personal health care spending at $5,467 per capita in 2009 was well below the $6,815 national average.  Ten-of-twelve southern states were below the national average.  Alabama ($6,272) joined Georgia in the bottom ten states as did two of the most populous states — Texas ($5,924) and California ($6,238).  Most New England states were above average. Personal health care spending annual… View Article

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