Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: March 24, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” – Voltaire “A good judge doesn’t give a whit about politics or the political implications of his or her decision.” – Neil Gorsuch “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” – Thomas Jefferson  Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price met this week in Washington with Foundation President Kelly McCutchen and several state think… View Article

Legislators Should Heed the Forgotten Man

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN A host of tax bills are up for consideration as the Georgia General Assembly enters its final week: tax breaks for the music industry, tax breaks for big construction projects, tax breaks on jet fuel, taxes on Internet purchases, taxes on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and cuts in the individual income tax rate. Some proposed tax breaks are designed to keep businesses in our state. But what about the forgotten man who expands his business without playing the game of searching for handouts, pretending he or she might move out of state without an “incentive? On the campaign trail, politicians often criticize tax breaks for special interests and the use of the… View Article
This testimony on Direct Primary Care was prepared for delivery to the Georgia House Insurance Committee on March 20, 2017. The legislation, S.B. 50, was presented by Senator Hunter Hill (Watch from the 53-minute mark at https://livestream.com/accounts/19771805/events/6811883/videos/152225554) By Benita M. Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation  The Georgia Public Policy Foundation understands the challenges lawmakers face in extending access to health care for the impoverished as well as those living in Georgia’s rural areas. Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill presented legislation on Direct Primary Care to the House Insurance Committee on Monday, March 20. We believe one way to address this is through an exciting, well tested approach: Direct Primary Care, which provides access, quality and control and… View Article

Friday Facts: March 17, 2017

It’s Friday!  Traffic is picking up in the reversible I-75 South Metro Express Toll lanes. This photograph was taken southbound, out of Metro Atlanta, on the afternoon of February 24. Given the condition the general purpose lanes, Friday afternoon traffic won’t be this sparse for much longer! Events March 23: The deadline is Tuesday to sign up for the Foundation’s March Leadership Breakfast, “Capitol Insight,” with keynote speaker Lynn Westmoreland, who retired recently after six terms as a Congressman from Georgia. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here. Quotes of note “One single object … [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” – Thomas Jefferson, View Article

How States Can Break the Health Care Logjam

EMTALA, a massive federal unfunded mandate, has made the nation’s emergency rooms the default health care provider for the uninsured. By Kelly McCutchen In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, January 22 a tornado, one of 40 over two days in Georgia, ripped through the tiny South Georgia town of Adel. Seven people died; the wounded were treated at the local hospital five minutes away. Just three days earlier, that local hospital had announced it would close its emergency room – the only ER in Cook County – at the end of February. Cook Medical Center is hemorrhaging about $2.6 million a year, mostly due to the emergency room. Tift Regional Medical Center plans to offer expanded hours at a non-emergency… View Article
By Ross Coker The Georgia Public Policy Foundation and other organizations committed to intelligent criminal justice reform in Georgia, have for some time pointed out Georgia’s astronomical rates of parole and probation, the highest in the nation by far. Georgia has 4,565 adults on probation per 100,000 adults, whereas that number falls to 2,200 for the next state on the list, Rhode Island. Parole and probation join the larger problem in criminal justice reform efforts known as “collateral consequences:” things beyond fines and prison sentences such as restrictions on civic participation that prevent ex-offenders from living the same lives as those who have not, even if they desire to return to a law-abiding, contributory role in society. The justification… View Article

Friday Facts: March 10, 2017

It’s Friday!  Condolences  Dudley Rochelle Carter, who served as a board member for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, passed away on March 4 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s syndrome. We were honored to have her counsel and support and offer our sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.  This screenshot captured this week shows 14 online viewers of the live streaming video at a House committee hearing as Larry Williams, president of the Technology Association of Georgia, testifies. Senate committee hearings are not streamed, as Benita Dodd points out in today’s commentary on Sunshine Week. Joe Rogers Sr., the founder of Waffle House, died March 3 at age 97. The son of a railway crane… View Article

Sunshine Week a Reminder Transparency’s Still Clouded

By Benita M. Dodd March 12-18 is Sunshine Week. Launched in 2005, the initiative promotes open government and pushes back against “excessive official secrecy.” Sunshine Week is promoted by the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Events of the past year reinforce that the media themselves need self-examination regarding the dappled coverage of events. Fortunately, enough outlets and citizen journalists exist and compete to the extent that citizens receive the news one way or another and, “Truth will out.” Not so at the General Assembly as the 40-day session reaches its 2017 halfway point. Few of Georgia’s 10 million residents reach the State Capitol to follow along in person. Happily for many,… View Article
By Ross Coker The popularity of consumer-grade multi-rotor or quadcopter devices, the unmanned aerial vehicles commonly referred to as “drones,” has skyrocketed over the last several years. While previously a niche product for aviation and remote controlled vehicle (“RC”) enthusiasts, the buzzing contraption is now commonplace at weddings, beaches and scenic overlooks across the United States. Consumer demand for and use of drones has, however, outpaced regulation. The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations for similar products have heretofore contemplated mostly hobby-grade RC planes, loud, expensive, and uncommon devices that also mostly lacked the ability to record pictures and video. (See “A Brief History of Drones” at droneblog.com.) Current drone technology, by contrast, allows for sometimes shockingly effective (and potentially invasive)… View Article

Friday Facts: March 3, 2017

It’s Friday!  Have you visited our social media sites lately? The Foundation has 3,185 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,719 followers at twitter.com/gppf. Follow us on Instagram, too!  Events March 23: Register now to attend the Foundation’s March Leadership Breakfast, “Capitol Insight,” with keynote speaker Lynn Westmoreland, who retired recently after six terms as a Congressman from Georgia. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here. Quotes of note “All too will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect,… View Article

As an employer, and a parent and a graduate of Georgia public schools, I am pleased that the Foundation has undertaken this project. (The report card) provides an excellent tool for parents and educators to objectively evaluate our public high schools. It will further serve a useful purpose as a benchmark for the future to measure our schools’ progress.

Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes