June 23-25: The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism’s Sixth Annual IHC Forum & Expo in Atlanta highlights the innovations and changes in health and benefits. Register by May 31 and save $100 with the early bird rate.
October 15: Mark your calendar! The sixth annual Legislative Policy Forum, takes place at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. The theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity,” expanding on the Georgia motto of, “Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation.” Details to follow; review the 2014 Forum here.
Quotes of Note
“Incentives-based economic policies are harmful to economic growth. By definition they transfer control over resource use from the more efficient setting of private sector resource owners and entrepreneurs to the less efficient public sector driven by the choices of politicians and bureaucrats.” – Roy Cordato
“Today they’re making pictures that I wouldn’t want Trigger to see.” – Roy Rogers
“But the fact is, no matter how good the teacher, how small the class, how focused on quality education the school may be none of this matters if we ignore the individual needs of our students.” – Roy Barnes
Ailing exchanges: Nearly half of the 17 insurance marketplaces set up by the states and the District of Columbia are struggling financially, presenting state officials with an unexpected and serious challenge five years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act. Hawaii state legislators have refused to pour millions of dollars into Hawaii’s exchange, which means it could close by Sept. 30. Source: News reports
Safe driving: Google Inc. reports that the autonomous cars it has been testing on California’s roads and highways were involved in 11 minor accidents over the past six years. They caused “light damage, no injuries” and happened over 1.7 million miles of testing, including nearly 1 million miles in self-driving mode. “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” according to Google.
Unsafe driving: Highway fatalities reached 450 in Georgia in the first three months of 2015, a 25 percent increase and a reversal of nine years of declines. Sixty percent died in a single-car crash, suggesting the driver was distracted or impaired. Another 17 percent involved a pedestrian or bicyclist. Most killed were not wearing a seat belt. Source: Augusta Chronicle
A CBS 46 investigation uncovered thousands of untested rape kits in Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and Athens-Clarke and Cobb County’s police departments, some from as far back as the 1970s. The Reason Foundation has proposed reforms for forensic labs that include statistical review, independent labs and competing labs, among others.
Cut the red tape: Canada is the first country in the world to require that for every new regulation, another must be removed. Called the Red Tape Reduction Act, it has already saved Canadians 98,000 hours and $20 million from 2012-2013.
How much, how well? The Foundation has created a series of easily decipherable graphs on education revenue, spending and spending vs. achievement in all Georgia’s school systems. Access them here.
Privacy concerns: Student data privacy was an important concern in the recent Common Core debate in Georgia. The Legislature acted this year to address many of these concerns and provide a backstop to federal laws that have sometimes lacked enforcement. The Foundation for Excellence in Education has more details here.
Opportunity: It’s time to get away from the notion that the poor are getting poorer because the rich are getting richer, Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute said Wednesday at a panel discussion on poverty that included President Obama. “The rich have gotten richer faster than the poor have moved up. … As an opportunity society, as an equal opportunity society, we should all be really concerned with that.”
Stifling opportunity: The Wall Street Journal has published an essay by Charles Murray, “Regulation Run Amok – And How to Fight Back,” arguing that America is no longer the land of the free “due to the modern regulatory state.”
Personal responsibility: Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute explains his success heading up welfare reforms in New York City: “Welfare-caseload declines, work-rate increases, and child-poverty declines all happened largely because … New York City required welfare applicants and recipients to work, or look for work, in return for benefits.” Read more here.
This month in the archives: In May 2004, the Foundation published, “The New Consumerism.” It noted, “As with any service, once someone else is paying the bill, the reasons to be cautious with spending are removed. People traveling on expense accounts stay in better hotels than people who spend their own money. College freshman with new credit cards from their parents are notorious for splurging money. And people with health insurance say, ‘I don’t care what it costs, doc. I’m covered!’”
Social media: The Foundation’s Facebook page is closing in on 2,400 “likes.” Please share the page to help us get there in our 24th year in Georgia! Join us on twitter.com/gppf and share the Friday Facts!
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.)