Category: The Forum

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2016

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD The law and unintended consequences One of the pieces of legislation that passed in the Georgia General Assembly is known as the Honorable Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Access Act. It’s prefaced with the statement that, “on December 6, President Carter revealed that his physicians said that all signs of cancer were gone.” The former president, you may recall, was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it had spread to his brain and liver. He was 91 years old at diagnosis. He continues to undergo treatment; he says his doctors found no trace of the lesions. The legislation, HB 965, mandates: No health… View Article

Friday Facts: March 25, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, a 26-inch RCA color console TV would have cost $1,166.72 in today’s dollars. Today, $1,199 would buy you a 55-inch ultra-HD TV!  Quotes of Note  “All these smaller cities investing billions into rail had better hope their projections of massive benefits come true, because all too soon the rebuild bill will start coming due. If you don’t believe me, just ask Washington.” – Aaron M. Renn  “Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt… View Article
Benita Dodd wrote a commentary for ZPolitics that was published on March 23, 2016, the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. The article is published in its entirety below; read it online at http://zpolitics.com/six-reasons/. ObamaCare Turns 6 Today. Here are six reasons it why it needs to go.     By Benita Dodd Today (March 23) marks the sixth anniversary of passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that was implemented in 2014. In Georgia, there’s no end in sight to ObamaCare opposition. It’s fortunate. Georgia is among 27 states that left ObamaCare to the federally managed health care exchange, www.healthcare.gov.  About half the state-managed exchanges are struggling financially. Georgia is also among 20 states that chose not to View Article

Transit Funding a Step in the Right Direction

By Baruch Feigenbaum In 2015, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Transportation Funding Act, dedicating substantial existing resources from the general fund to state roadway funding. Unfortunately, the 2015 plan funded neither transit nor local roadways. In 2016, legislation introduced by Sen. Brandon Beach proposed increasing the sales tax in the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fulton County by 0.50 cents to fund three rail expansions: Lindbergh Station to Emory, alongside S.R. 400 from North Springs Station to Windward Parkway and Indian Creek Station to Lithonia. While the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA) favored the rail expansion, some communities were not on board. Much of the opposition centered on North Fulton, where area leaders believed that improving… View Article
(Updated March 23 at 9:36 am)   Criminal Justice SB 367 – A broad criminal justice reform package including youth diversion programs, community supervision and increased eligibility for parole for certain drug offenders. (Passed Senate 53-0, Passed House 166-1http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SB/367 HB  832 – Would require criminal proceedings to be completed prior to civil asset forfeiture. (No actionhttp://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/832 Education SB 92 – Would create a universal Education Savings Accounts. Five states have authorized ESAs. (No actionhttp://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/SB/92 HB 848 – Blue Star Family Scholarship Program would provide scholarships for children of military service members to attend a private  school. (No actionhttp://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/848 HB 865 – Would create a tuition tax credit scholarship… View Article

An Assault on Nonprofit Giving

This commentary by Jon Riches appeared March 18 in Philanthropy Daily and is republished below. Access the commentary online at http://www.philanthropydaily.com/an-assault-on-nonprofit-giving/. An Assault on Nonprofit Giving By Jon Riches Do you donate to the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club, or your local art museum? If so, you may soon be required to report your name, address, and contribution amounts to the government. Couched as “transparency” measures, a wave of regulatory action, legislative proposals, and ballot measures are aimed at eliminating, or significantly curtailing, private charitable giving. The first line of attack on donor privacy has come from partisan regulators. Attorneys General in both New York and California have been notifying nonprofit organizations that they must disclose private tax… View Article

CPA, Readers Hail Georgia Tax Reform Plan

The Senate voted along party lines March 16 on tax reform for Georgia. The Foundation has received numerous compliments after Kelly McCutchen’s March 18 commentary about the state tax reform legislation that passed the Senate March 16. One comment came from CPA Jeff Kellar: With Florida and Tennessee not having an individual income tax, and Alabama’s rate of 5 percent, Georgia should continue to move in a more competitive direction.  One additional measure the state could employ to assist and encourage small business, would be to eliminate the Net Worth Tax on small business corporations. (Tennessee imposes a “Hall” tax on certain interest and dividend income). Georgia’s legislation, HB 238, would in fact eliminate the Net Worth Tax.   Kellar,  … View Article

Friday Facts: March 18, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, a 10-minute long distance call cost $3.30. Today, a long distance call costs … Wait … What’s long distance?   The Foundation was honored to be acknowledged in the Congressional Record by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson this month in celebration of 25 years of Policy over Politics in Georgia. Quotes of Note  “This battle for ‘common-sense’ gun control laws pits emotion and passion against logic and reason. All too often in such a contest, logic loses. So, expect more meaningless, if not harmful, ‘gun control’ legislation. Good news – if you’re a crook.” – Larry Elder “We might hope to see the finances of… View Article

Tax Reform A Needed Boost for Georgia’s Economy

The Senate voted along party lines March 16 on tax reform for Georgia. By Kelly McCutchen The Georgia Senate deserves a hearty congratulations for approving a pro-growth tax reform Wednesday (March 16) that would reduce Georgia’s marginal personal income tax rate for the first time since it was implemented in 1937. To be the best place to do business in the nation, Georgia needs a more competitive tax code. In the Southeast, only South Carolina’s top income tax rate of 7 percent is higher; nationally, 28 states have lower marginal rates. The proposed income tax changes can be explained in less than a minute. Georgia’s six tax brackets would be collapsed into one tax bracket of 5.4 percent (a reduction… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd March 13-19 is Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration of government transparency and access to public information. It’s come just in time to reinforce the need for increased transparency under the Gold Dome to empower more Georgia citizens.   Georgia House and Senate floor sessions have been broadcast live over the Internet since 2003. This is hugely beneficial because average Georgians are able to follow legislation online, instead of having to trek over in person to the State Capitol. Granted, it does not provide as much access as the special interests, activists and lobbyists who are present (and often behind the scenes, too) at the Capitol to follow and influence debate, discussion and voting. Still, it… View Article

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.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes