Category: Government Reform

Hispanics Understand Free-Market Principles

Excerpt from the keynote address by Daniel Garza, executive director of The LIBRE Initiative, at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2014 Annual Dinner on March 5, 2014. Garza’s family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Garza, who as a child worked alongside his father and brother in farm fields, became an elected official, a White House staffer and now is executive director of The LIBRE Initiative. By Daniel Garza  My parents saw America, I think, like a lot of immigrants did before them: as the Promised Land. I like to quote a song by Woody Guthrie that he wrote about the Joad family in the novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.” He’s talking about the family coming to California and… View Article

Day 38 Update: Foster Care Reform Bills Remain in Limbo

(Update:  Thursday morning the Senate Health & Human Services Committee chaired by Sen. Renee Unterman briefly considered attaching the SB 350 version of foster care reform to HB 990, the House bill that would require legislative approval to change Medicaid eligibility.  The discussion was short.  “I support the foster care bill that we passed and I am disappointed that the House hasn’t taken it up on their side,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer, who then quashed the proposal to combine SB 350 with HB 990.  “I would urge that we continue to find other vehicles for foster care,” Shafer added.  No House or Senate votes on foster care legislation are anticipated today, which is Day 38 on the… View Article
This year Senate and House legislators have passed three bills that use different approaches but share a common goal, that states should be able to compel the federal government to operate within a balanced budget.  The Compact for America approach passed as House Bill 794 would bring participating states together at a convention to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. Action by the convention would not by itself compel the federal government to live within a balanced budget.  Congress would be required to act on the proposed amendment and states would be required to ratify the language.  Goldwater Institute constitutional scholar Nick Dranias explained the balanced budget constitutional amendment approach at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release February 25, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Releases Study on Retirement Benefits Reform Unfunded Liabilities an Urgent, Growing Burden, Analysis Concludes Atlanta – Across the nation, cities and states are staring at a mountain of unfunded government pension and other employee benefits. For decades, public officials have freely doled out rich benefits to public employees, knowing the bill won’t be due until far in the future; what George Will describes as “‘IBG, YBG:’ I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone when the reckoning arrives.”   Reckoning is rapidly approaching for these governments and the taxpayers who fund them, according to a study released today by the Georgia Public… View Article

Register for Feb. 26 Event on Balanced Budget Amendment

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION EVENT REMINDER February 18, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Register for Balanced Budget Amendment Event Atlanta –  Have you registered yet for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast? Are you tired of federal overspending? Attend, “The Case for the Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment,” an 8 a.m. event at Cobb County’s Galleria Centre to find out how the states can rein in the federal budget. And Georgia can take the lead! Keynoted by constitutional scholar Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, this event is open to the public and is $25 to attend. NICK DRANIASGoldwater Institute Dranias will discuss the non-partisan effort to promote and seek legislation… View Article

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

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