Quotes of Note
“As your nation grieves for those whose lives the bombers so wantonly and so pointlessly stole, and as it cares for those in whom serious injury has snatched away youth and strength, never apologize for being not only a successful nation but also a good nation, and a good friend to all the Earth.” – Lord Christopher Monckton
“What we see on college campuses represents a dereliction of duty by boards of trustees, which bear the ultimate responsibility. Wealthy donors who care about the fraud of higher education should recognize that there’s nothing like the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of college administrators.” – Walter Williams
“For all of its rough edges, the sequester is proving to be educational. It is showing Americans how broken so much of government is, and it is revealing how our politicians refuse to distinguish between essential services and needless waste.” – Wall Street Journal
May 23: The Foundation’s May 23 Leadership Breakfast at the Georgian Club will feature education entrepreneur Sajan George discussing, “The Future of Education.” For information and registration, go to www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=9155.
Got students? The Foundation officially launched its Student Outreach Scholarship (SOS) Program at the April 23 Leadership Breakfast. Tax-deductible contributions from Foundation supporters will cover the charge for qualified students to attend events, giving them an opportunity to hear national speakers on free-market ideas and to network with Georgia’s business, community and political leaders. Find out how to apply or contribute at http://www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=9167.
Congressional balancing done right: This week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a long-overdue transportation fix. House Bill 202 gives the state Department of Transportation the ability to allocate federal transportation funds for interstate improvements and certain freight corridor projects based on state priorities instead of the previous requirement to distribute funds equally among Georgia’s 14 congressional districts.
Entrepreneur oasis: Atlanta is the best place for entrepreneurs, according to Business Insider. The online publication cited the low cost of living, convenient transportation, tech hubs and a diverse talent pool for its decision. Now, what Georgia needs to do is work on keeping the startup companies here! Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Taxes and spending
Oxycodone and oxymorons: Government efficiency does not appear to exist when it comes to drug abuse prevention and treatment programs, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO reports that programs are fragmented across 15 federal agencies and provide some overlapping services, “which could increase the risk of duplication.” Specifically, GAO identified overlap in 59 of the 76 programs included in its review, noting, “Such fragmentation and overlap may result in inefficient use of resources among programs providing similar services.” (We’re sure government will do better with health insurance, said no one ever.)
Bigger government: The Internal Revenue Service budget for 2014 seeks a 9 percent increase ($1 billion) in discretionary funding and a staffing increase of 8 percent (6,732 full-time equivalents) in staffing over fiscal year 2012 actual levels, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Odd fact for odd draft: A think tank colleague from the Washington Policy Center shared a Tweeted reminder that finishing second isn’t all that bad. For example, the No. 2 overall NFL pick will earn more than the No. 1 pick because there is no state income tax in Florida!
Criminal justice reform
A 10-year plan: Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law revisions to adult minimum mandatory sentencing statutes and an expansion of the state’s right of appeal in evidence rulings. The law also creates an ongoing Council on Criminal Justice Reform to analyze and implement new strategies for the next 10 years. Watch the bill signing ceremony and remarks on the Foundation’s YouTube channel and learn more in Foundation Editor Mike Klein’s Mike Klein’s background article.
This Week in The Forum: In this week’s “Checking Up On Health” by Benita Dodd, find out about “medical repatriation,” the dearth of drugs to fight superbugs, the ability to change bone cells to brain cells, drug companies’ alternatives to expensive in-house drug development, and more. Find this and other posts in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
YouTube: The April 23 Leadership Breakfast examined the exciting future of telemedicine for Georgia.
Click here for the presentation by Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health
Click here for Dr. Jeffrey Grossman’s viewpoint on regulations that impede telemedicine
Click here for Paula Guy’s live demonstration of telemedicine through the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth
Click here for Dr. Jeffrey English’s discussion of how telemedicine impacts his MS patients. Click here for the audience questions segment.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Georgia Has Alternatives to Medicaid Expansion.”
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation. For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work. As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature. We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us. To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)