Category: The Forum

Move Transit Policy in the Right Direction

By Benita M. Dodd When the CEO of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority resigned last year, he left MARTA in a good place. The agency was in the black. A new 40-year, $2.5 billion transportation sales tax had been passed. Clayton County bus service had been added to the system. Big plans were in the works with the new money: Expand the struggling Streetcar system. Expand heavy rail into Clayton County. Expand rail in the Emory corridor. Expand heavy rail along Georgia 400 to Alpharetta. Add bus rapid transit. Add buses. With the money part in place, now comes the heavy lifting. Keith Parker has moved on, and before the dream became reality. Legislation currently under consideration is intended… View Article

Friday Facts: February 23, 2018

It’s Friday! “America’s Pastor,” the Rev. Billy Graham, passed away this week at age 99. Tributes have poured in. No greater tribute can be paid, in our opinion, than an article by Louisiana’s WAFB.com about his casket. It speaks to his humility: At his request, the casket was built in 2006 by inmates of Lousiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola. The “Alcatraz of the South” is home to Louisiana’s most notorious criminals, but is also home to a renowned prison ministry. “This was a great honor. Because this is a great man of God and he wants … an inmate to build his coffin and get the inmate preachers involved ,and it’s mind-boggling; it sends a… View Article
This event was held on February 20, 2018 and featured a panel with Len Gilroy, Senior Managing Director of the Pension Integrity Project and  Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, and Georgia State Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), Chairman of the Georgia House Budget and Fiscal Oversight Committee. The presentation may be downloaded here: PDF file View Article

Patients Deserve the Right to Shop

By Kelly McCutchen and Josh Archambault Georgia families face some of the biggest increases in health care premiums in the country this year. For many families, health care is rapidly becoming unaffordable – a necessity that is becoming a luxury. Candidates running for Governor and the Legislature would be wise to take note of other states’ successes in granting patients the right to shop for health care to lower health care costs. Data show that the primary reason premiums are going up is the escalating costs of treatments and procedures. Consumers’ deductibles and copays are going up, too. In other words, patients are paying more but getting less. At a time when the internet is making more and more information… View Article

Friday Facts: February 16, 2018

It’s Friday! Subscribe to the Friday Facts here. Support the Foundation and its mission here. Events February 20: The deadline is today to register for “Pension Solvency and Public Education: The Case for Reforming Georgia Teacher Pensions,” a Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday, February 20. Speakers are Len Gilroy, Senior Managing Director of the Pension Integrity Project and Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, and Georgia State Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), Chairman of the House Budget and Fiscal Oversight Committee. 8 a.m. at the Georgian Club. $30. Registration and information here. February 26: The Foundation co-sponsors Georgia Justice Day 2018 at the State Capitol, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., highlighting criminal justice reforms,… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release February 13, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org (404-256-4050) Foundation Hosts February 20 Event on Georgia Teacher Pension Reform Atlanta – In 2017, Georgia’s budget included $223 million for the Teacher Retirement System to improve its financial security. This year, Governor Nathan Deal’s FY 2019 budget includes another $361.7 million to prop up the pension fund for Georgia teachers.  Why is this happening? How much longer will Georgia taxpayers have to pump money into the TRS?  More important, what assurances do Georgia teachers entering the profession have that their benefits will be there when they retire? Find out more at “Pension Solvency and Public Education: The Case for Reforming Georgia Teacher Pensions,”… View Article

Friday Facts: February 9, 2018

It’s Friday! Great news for Georgia and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation! The Foundation was named one of the “Best Independent Think Tanks” in the 2017 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report (page 181). What’s especially significant is that the Foundation is ranked among organizations with much larger budgets. It proves what we tell supporters: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation offers the best bang for your buck, an impressive return on investment. Support the Foundation and its mission here. Quotes of note “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … In vain are Schools, Academies, and Universities instituted, if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. … The vices… View Article
By Jerry Madden Criminal justice reform may wind up being the most significant conservative policy change in Washington this year. That may sound surprising to some, but not to anyone who has been watching this movement in conservative states over the last decade. Starting in Texas, conservatives of all stripes – fiscal, social, constitutional, or otherwise – have found favor with reforms to the criminal justice system that focus on increasing public safety and cutting costs to taxpayers. This is, seemingly, a very commonsense goal. But take a look at how most states and the federal government operate and you will find that well-functioning, well-focused systems are far from the norm. The results are undeniable: Texas has lowered its overall… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release February 8, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org (404-256-4050) Foundation Named to 2017 Global ‘Best Independent Think Tanks’ List Atlanta – The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been named one of the world’s “Best Independent Think Tanks” in the 2017 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report, compiled annually by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP). The Foundation joins its sister think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as the only two U.S. state free-market think tanks named in the “Best Independent Think Tanks” ranking (page 181), released this month.  “What’s especially significant is that the Foundation is ranked among organizations with much larger budgets,” said Benita Dodd, vice president of… View Article

Restoring the Dignity of Work

By Drew Ferguson  The American dream is our nation’s most enduring promise. But, too many people are struggling to turn the American dream into a reality. After my hometown and the surrounding area lost its manufacturing jobs, I watched family, friends and neighbors live through this scenario. Many came back from that, but others in the Third District of Georgia still live a different story. For the first time in generations, more people in the area moved into poverty than into the middle class. As this persists in some areas, failing schools, broken neighborhoods and loss of hope take hold. The dignity of work is replaced by the indignity of dependence. The once tightly woven fabric of the community is … View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes