Category: Government Reform

Fostering Better Care of Georgia’s Children

By Tarren Bragdon and Benita M. Dodd For a child who is being abused and neglected every day, every hour, every minute counts. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and State Sen. Renee Unterman are leading the charge to improve Georgia’s child welfare system, building upon proven reforms that are right for children who enter the foster system.   As individuals touched by the system – Tarren Bragdon is an adoptive parent; Benita Dodd has foster sisters – the authors understand all too well the clarity of the goal. From personal experience, these authors understand the need for Georgia’s child welfare system to be quick to respond to allegations of abuse, to allow families to remain together when possible through strong support services… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia legislators will have an opportunity this session to discuss whether the state should implement a creative approach that would retain the investigation of child abuse claims in the public sector but enhance private sector resources for children who are in foster care custody. Senate Bill 350 introduced this week draws its lineage from Senate working group hearings that were convened this past fall by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.  The legislation was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee.  There is no first hearing date at this writing. How to care for children who are in child welfare services custody has been controversial for years.  Although the number fluctuates, about… View Article

States Can Unite to Rein in Feds on Spending

By Nick Dranias NICK DRANIASGoldwater Institute Georgia legislators, like so many across the nation, understand the challenges – and requirement – that they balance the state budget. Unfortunately in Washington, as Yogi Berra would say, every budget is déjà vu all over again because Congress has forgotten the definition.   Recognizing that Washington will never reform itself, states are realizing they must reach out from home turf to rein in a Congress that, encircled by entrenched interests favoring the endless growth of government, has lost sight of home and the hardworking Americans behind the tax dollars it gambles. It’s up to the states to organize and change the rules of the game, exercising their ultimate power: to originate constitutional amendments under… View Article

America’s Longest War: The War on Poverty

  BENITA DODD By Benita M. Dodd Fifty years ago this month – on January 8, 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Considering the money spent on poverty-related programs in the ensuing half century – $16 trillion, according to the Cato Institute – and the percentage of Americans still listed as poor, it’s time to concede defeat, change strategy or redefine poverty. Conceding defeat against poverty is unacceptable, of course. But redefining poverty means building a better safety net, not opening a bigger umbrella, as President Obama is expected to propose in his State of the Union Address this month. He’s expected to dramatize income inequality – the gap between the… View Article

Rhode Island Pension Reform Case Study

In 2011, Rhode Island enacted major pension reform legislation spearheaded by State Treasurer and current gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo to address an unfunded pension liability of $6.8 billion and a system less than 50 percent funded relative to its obligations. Among the changes, the reforms introduced a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution funding system, suspended cost-of-living-adjustments for retirees, and increased the retirement age. A new Reason Foundation report offers a detailed case study of Rhode Island’s pension reform efforts, reviewing the challenges that prompted the reforms, the specific policies enacted, and the lessons learned for other states and municipalities facing significant unfunded pension liabilities. Read the study: Pension Reform Case Study: Rhode Island View Article

The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00

We’ve written often about the unintended consequences of the minimum wage (and all price controls). But it’s a sea change when a New York Times editorial agrees: “Anyone working in America surely deserves a better living standard than can be managed on $3.35 an hour. But there’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. A far better way to help them would be to subsidize their wages or – better yet – help them acquire the skills needed to earn more on their own.” Here’s a link to a video of Milton Friedman… View Article
(Excerpt from Rick Jackson’s testimony before the Georgia Senate Foster Care Initiative Working Group.  Watch on YouTube.) By RICK JACKSON RICK JACKSONPresident, Jackson Healthcare Thank you for the opportunity to discuss improving foster care. Everyone in this room believes doing what’s right for abused and neglected kids in Georgia should be a priority.  This working group is a further testament to that commitment and the willingness to tackle tough but critical issues.  That is why I believe there has never been a better time to purse a bold, proven transformation of our child welfare system.  Working together we can reduce abuse, keep families safely united and provide more kids with safe, loving homes. I know many of you on… View Article
(Excerpt from Bill Hancock’s testimony before the Georgia Senate Foster Care Initiative Working Group.  Watch on YouTube.) By BILL HANCOCK BILL HANCOCKPresident, FaithBridge Foster Care Thank you for the opportunity to part of this conversation today. In a public – private partnership government focuses on protecting children.  Public agencies are free to focus on the fundamentals of child investigation, legislative oversight, private provider contract management, regulatory compliance and data information and management. Providers in partnership with local community leaders have the responsibility and incentives to understand the needs of children and families in their local area and to develop robust continuums of child and family service strategies like home visitation, family preservation, foster care, specialized care and other services… View Article
(An excerpt from Georgia Supreme Court Associate Justice David Nahmias’ address to the fourth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.  Watch his address on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation YouTube channel.) By Justice DAVID NAHMIAS DAVID NAHMIASAssociate JusticeGeorgia Supreme Court I think we all feel blessed to be Americans.  I feel particularly blessed because it could easily have been different for me.  My father comes from Egypt and my mother comes from Germany.  They came to this country after World War II.  They arrived here with almost nothing.  They met in medical school.  They moved to Atlanta in 1964 when I was born.  They had very successful medical careers, helped a lot of people and raised several successful children and… View Article

Atlanta’s Great Strides as a World Class IT Capital

Reprinted from the September 18 Atlanta Journal-Constitution By David Cummings DAVID CUMMINGSFounder and OwnerAtlanta Tech Village The digital economy is changing the world, and we’re just getting started.  Companies are launched every day with just an idea and an Internet connection.  Technology has affected nearly every area of business, and Georgia’s growth trajectory within the digital economy is very promising. Georgia’s strong information security cluster has stood out for years.  Our state continues to be among the top three in the U.S. for information security technology and is home to hundreds of such companies.  More than 25 percent of the worldwide security revenue market share is generated by companies right here in our home state, according to the Metro Chamber… View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes