Tuesday is the deadline to register for, “License to Work,” the Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, May 14, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. The event is open to the public. $30. For information and registration, go here.
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
“In moments of crisis, the initiative passes to those who are best prepared.” – Morton C. Blackwell, “The Laws of the Public Policy Process”
“I am not influenced by the expectation of promotion or pecuniary reward. I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary for the public good, become honorable by being necessary.” – Nathan Hale
“Workmen’s compensation, hours and conditions of labor are cold consolations, if there be no employment.” – Calvin Coolidge
Taxes and spending
Taxes and death: Georgia’s “death tax,” the estate tax rate is very competitive. It’s zero, according to the Tax Foundation.
How much? The Foundation has created two easily decipherable graphs, one to show how much federal, state and local revenue a school system receives per student and another that shows how that money is spent.
Leading: Georgia is one of the top six states in the nation in digital learning policy, according to Digital Learning Now’s fourth annual Digital Learning Report Card.
Choices: People often criticize school choice as unfair to “nonchoosers,” says Matthew Levey, who heads a new charter school in New York. “Life is all about choices. Before critics denounce parents who look for alternatives to schools that routinely fail to prepare their students for meaningful participation in civil society, let’s hope they acknowledge the moral choice we are making for them.” Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Myths: Greg Forster, writing for the Oklahoma Center for Policy Analysis, debunks some school choice myths, including that it harms public schools.
Trade barriers: Labor unions have stepped up their efforts to stop Congress from renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the president. As we noted in an op-ed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in May 2014, “Some have voiced concerns that more foreign competition will put Americans out of work. This perspective, however, misunderstands the nature of trade flows. More than three-fifths of U.S. imports aren’t actually completed products. They are inputs, or raw materials, that American companies need to run their businesses.”
Minimum wage, minus jobs: A pizzeria owner in Seattle says she’s closing shop and dismissing 11 employees because she is unable to afford the minimum wage increase. Even though it’s phased in over six years for “small” businesses, she must phase the $15-an-hour wage in over two years because her business is part of a franchise.
Unhealthy rates: U.S. Emergency Room visits keep climbing despite the Affordable Care Act, according to a new survey that points to Medicaid recipients unable to find doctors as the primary driver of ER visits. It’s one more reason Georgia would be wise to adopt a patient-centered model for low-income, able-bodied, working-age citizens instead of an expensive, ineffective, top-down, highly regulated Medicaid expansion.
This month in the archives: In May 2005, the Foundation published, “Governing by Network Has Challenges, Rewards.” It noted, “[G]overnment agencies are well past the debate about ‘whether’ to contract out instead of handling work themselves. Today, the question is ‘how’ to manage the transformed ‘government by network’ that is replacing the traditional, hierarchical bureaucracy.”
Foundation in the media: Kelly McCutchen’s commentary, “Economic Diversity, State Leadership: A Recipe for Georgia’s Success,” was published by SavannahCEO.com, ValdostaCEO.com and AthensCEO.com, the Waycross Herald Journal and the Columbia County News-Times; The Citizen published, “2015: Some Opportunities Missed, Taken.” The Coastal Courier, Bryan County News, Watchdog.org, Heartland Institute and Columbia County News-Times published, “The Concrete Road Less Traveled,” by Benita Dodd.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Georgia Gets Students Moving On Instead of Falling Back,” by Russ Moore.
On a personal note: Georgians have said goodbye to a few good men in the past few weeks: former Rep Jay Shaw, a member of the State Transportation Board, State Rep. Harry Geisinger and former State Sen. Joey Brush. Our condolences to their families; our thanks for their service to Georgia.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)