Category: Regulation

Pay Attention: National Energy Policy Hits Home, Too

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Georgia boasts no native sources of fossil fuel – coal, natural gas or oil – yet the energy industry fuels this state’s economy just as surely as if it were the epicenter of operations. As the state slowly recovers from the economic downturn, the 50 percent drop in prices at the nation’s gas pumps over the past year has been a mixed blessing. On one hand, it gives commuters a cheaper trip and lowers the cost of doing business for companies. On the other, it reduces the viability of recovering “unconventional” oil and natural gas resources in an already-hostile regulatory environment. While hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – has been around in one form or… View Article
By Jeffrey Dorfman  JEFFREY DORFMAN Every member of the Georgia Legislature was elected this past November. Thus, one would expect those legislators to hold the citizens who elected them in high esteem; after all, they were wise enough to elect them, right? The next month or so will determine whether those legislators actually trust their voters to make independent decisions in the marketplace or they believe the citizens need to be protected from decisions elected officials don’t think we are capable of making on our own. Two bills before the Legislature demonstrate the choice before these politicians. One would allow craft brewers and brewpubs to actually sell beer for customers to take home; another would allow Tesla to sell cars… View Article
The growing number of wineries in north Georgia are becoming a tourism success story. Visitors can tour the winery, sample the products and then buy a bottle, or a case, to take home. If you really like the wine, you can have up to 12 cases a year shipped to your home. Craft beer is the latest craze. Breweries are springing up all over the state of Georgia. While breweries are contributing to economic growth in many states, Georgia is being held back by antiquated laws and powerful special interests. Georgia is one of 5 states where breweries cannot sell beer directly to consumers. Brewers in Georgia simply want to be treated the same as Georgia wineries and breweries in… View Article
A bill introduced this month would modernize Georgia teachers’ pensions to be more in line with private-sector retirement plans. The proposal is modeled after the successful reform of Georgia’s pension plan for new state employees 7 years ago. Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, would only apply to teachers hired after January 1, 2017.  These newly hired teachers would automatically be enrolled in a hybrid pension plan that combines a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, with a smaller traditional defined benefit component. This is exactly what happened with state employees in 2008 in response to a survey showing that state employees under age 30 earning less than $35,000 annually – who made up the… View Article
EVENT INVITATION February 18, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Federal Overreach is Focus of March 18 Event with AG Sam Olens Atlanta – Under the Constitution, our Founding Fathers assigned the federal government specific, limited powers. How times have changed. As Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens pointed out to Congressional lawmakers in 2013, “With increasing and dismaying frequency, constitutional principles of federalism and separation of powers have been set aside in favor of administrative end-routes to a preferred policy outcome.” Insidious mission creep and overreach now pit states against the federal government and the courts as they are forced to defend their rights. From the Dodd-Frank Act to the ObamaCare Halbig v. Burwell case before the U.S.… View Article

Historic Districts and their Effects on Land Use

The Heartland Institute reports on a study that shows bad zoning policies can lead to economic stagnation. After analyzing datasets of residential transactions for the past 35 years and data from New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, researchers concluded that using zoning policy to designate neighborhoods as having a “historic” nature generally caused property values to increase, but also cause “a significant negative impact on the amount of new housing construction” around and within the district in question. Also, researchers found that historic districts with fewer regulations were observed to have more new economic activity than districts with more regulations. Read the article and the study here: http://heartland.org/policy-documents/preserving-history-or-hindering-growth-heterogenous-effects-historic-districts-loca View Article

Climate Change Rules Could Be the Death of You

This op-ed by Heartland Institute Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/choose-the-vehicle-you-want/nj3TR/ Climate or Crash Risk in Your Vehicle Choice By H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.  Environmentalists are coming after your car — again. And what they don’t want you to know is their crusade, if successful, would result in a multitude of unnecessary deaths.  With the false promise of reduced dependence on foreign oil, environmental radicals convinced Congress to establish Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards beginning in 1975. CAFE standards required cars to meet federally mandated fuel economy targets or pay a hefty tax, a tax on gas guzzling sedans. The results? Many people switched to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Others, however, started driving… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release January 9, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Study Identifies Telehealth as the Cutting-Edge Future of Health Care Atlanta – Georgia’s leadership in telehealth offers an excellent opportunity to address a number of health care challenges, according to a new study released today by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The study, “Telehealth & Patient-Centered Care,” by Ron Bachman, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation, is a comprehensive analysis of the potential of telehealth and how policies in Georgia can accelerate, or inhibit, its benefits. “It is impossible to stop a mega-trend,” says Bachman. “Telehealth is the cutting-edge future of health care worldwide. Telehealth, in its various… View Article

The Hidden Danger in Title II for Tech Companies

By Stephen Loftin Marketing guru Seth Godin recently posted a blog supporting net neutrality as a way to keep internet companies from censoring content they don’t like. His piece brings up an interesting point that the tech community needs to think through before we go too far down the road of regulating the internet. Godin asks this question – “What if the search engines or ISPs decide to ‘disappear’ content they don’t like?” (emphasis added) The point begs a very interesting question – If, as Godin proposes, regulation of the internet is required to eliminate the threat of censorship, where would that regulation of the internet stop? Once it applies to ISPs, who else would then need to become subject… View Article

U.S. Senate Votes to Oppose Freedom

By Bartlett D. Cleland  Bartlett Cleland Our civil liberties suffered another loss this week when the Senate chose to duck surveillance reform by killing the USA Freedom Act. The legislation would have limited the data dragnet that is currently being used to harvest Americans’ personal information via spying laws. Specifically, the legislation would have ended “bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act” and required the federal “government to more aggressively filter and discard information about Americans accidentally collected through PRISM and related programs.” In addition, all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) decisions for the last decade that included a significant interpretation of the law would have had to be disclosed publicly, and “Internet and telecom companies would be… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been a catalyst for common sense proposals—and elected officials are listening and reacting.

U.S. Senator Bill Frist more quotes