Category: Issues

By Kelly McCutchen In ordering legislators to redraw the state House and Senate district maps by March 1, a panel of federal judges has given Georgia legislators an opportunity to put sound policy over politics. The sound policy in this case is to draw compact, logical districts that keep communities together and encourage competitive elections. Districts designed to protect incumbents of one particular party only encourage voter apathy and cynicism about our government, increase the influence of special interests and produce career politicians who become more interested in increasing their own influence and power rather than representing the people they serve. Our democratic republic is at risk when the average citizen – even politically active citizens – cannot describe the … View Article
Benita Dodd                                                                                                         February 11, 2004 Georgia Public Policy Foundation The Georgia Public Policy Foundation appreciates GRTA’s invitation to share our views on land use with the Land Development Committee today. The Foundation is an independent think tank that proposed market-oriented approaches to public policy issues. The Foundation is a signatory to the Lone Mountain Compact, a philosophically compatible document outlining Principles for Preserving Freedom and Livability in America’s Cities and Suburbs. The three most important principles, to our thinking, are first, that absent a material threat to other individuals or the community, people should be allowed to live and work where and how they like. Second, that local planning procedures and tools should incorporate private property rights as a fundamental… View Article

Georgia Charter School Handbook

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Technical Assistance section of the Charter School Resource Center has been developed to provide in-depth information about charter school operations in Georgia under six main topics: Mission Statements; Curriculum; Finances and Facilities; Accountability and Assessment; Governance and Leadership; and Students, Parents and the Community. There are many links, examples, explanations, and other resources to help organizers through the difficult processes of creating and maintaining charter schools in the state of Georgia, but while the Technical Assistance resources explain many charter school issues in detail, four basic areas must be addressed for a charter school to be successful: Academics, Business, Legal and Public Relations. Academics A charter provides a school with more freedom to help students by implementing… View Article

Permit Transfers Hold Water For Georgia

By Benita Dodd It may seem that Georgia’s water problems are Atlanta’s alone, but the state’s economic engine is hardly alone in its concerns about water quality or quantity.   Rincon, in Effingham County, is withdrawing more groundwater than allotted, but the state prohibits it getting more water from the Floridan Aquifer while a scientific study is under way. The Environmental Protection Division wants Rincon to tie into the county’s surface water pipeline. City officials cite concerns about water quality and expense and have even considered borrowing water withdrawal permits. Rincon is suing the EPD and being sued by stymied developers. Tybee, approaching its groundwater allocation, has another 100 condominiums permitted. The city is offering to buy back irrigation meters from… View Article

Water Permit Transfers

“Water Permit Transfers: Bridging The Misinformation Gap” was printed in 2003 and is a product of research conducted by staff members of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as part of the Foundation’s Environmental Initiative. http://www.gppf.org/pub/Water/waterpermittransfers_2.pdf… View Article
By R. Harold Brown Did you know that America’s cleaner air has saved more than 2.5 million lives over 20 years? It was news to me, but it must be true: It’s reported on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site. In fact, despite this impressive statistic being around since 1997, I dare say it’s news to most citizens. Neither the EPA nor others that I’m aware of are trumpeting this victory. It’s more likely that Georgians have heard the dire warnings of danger from the “spewing” of toxins from smokestacks and engine exhausts, and the projected number of deaths unless said “spewing” stops. Just one example is the Clean Air Task Force’s report in 2000 that claimed, “Nationwide, power-plant pollution… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd There’s a belief that the only reason proponents of airport privatization want the city of Atlanta to hand over airport operations to the private sector is so that it would operate more efficiently, therefore cost-efficiently. The airport is already operating efficiently, some say, and that negates the need for privatization. The bottom line is this: The city of Atlanta says it needs $3.2 billion to upgrade its sewer system or it faces court-ordered economic decline brought on by sewer moratoriums. Its options are to obtain the money from ratepayers, continuing to ratchet up sewer rates to the extent that industry and wealthier residents relocate while the 25 percent of households that are low-income must be subsidized.… View Article
By Mac Gibson and Josh Belinfante A rural Georgia hospital was forced to forego renovations and an expansion of its emergency room.[1] Family practitioners in central Georgia can no longer afford the medical malpractice insurance premiums that accompany delivering children or performing Caesarian sections.[2] Many radiologists are no longer reading mammograms because it can make their premiums unaffordable.[3] Malpractice lawsuits and insurance premiums are skyrocketing, and the litigation juggernaut affects the lives of Georgians every day. Georgia is representative of several states across the nation. The American Medical Association currently lists 19 states, including Georgia, as having a “medical malpractice crisis.”[4] A major cause of the crisis is the dramatic increases in the number of medical… View Article
By Mac Gibson and Josh Belinfante There’s no doubt that Georgia is facing a medical malpractice crisis. Named by the American Medical Association as one of the “crisis” states for having the most radical increases in medical malpractice insurance premiums in 2002, Georgia has seen medical malpractice insurance rates soar more than 150 percent in the past three years. The state’s medical malpractice insurance premiums increase every year, and rates will continue to rise so long as health care providers and hospitals face potentially staggering verdicts in medical malpractice cases. In Georgia, the number of medical malpractice claims of $500,000 or more have doubled since 1995, and claims of $1 million and $2 million or more have tripled. As premiums… View Article
By Mac Gibson and Josh Belinfante There’s no doubt that Georgia is facing a medical malpractice crisis. Named by the American Medical Association as one of the “crisis” states for having the most radical increases in medical malpractice insurance premiums in 2002, Georgia has seen medical malpractice insurance rates soar more than 150 percent in the past three years. The state’s medical malpractice insurance premiums increase every year, and rates will continue to rise so long as health care providers and hospitals face potentially staggering verdicts in medical malpractice cases. In Georgia, the number of medical malpractice claims of $500,000 or more have doubled since 1995, and claims of $1 million and $2 million or more have tripled. As premiums… View Article

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