Category: News

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgians appear ready to embrace juvenile justice reforms that would focus the state’s lock-ups on higher-level offenders and put new emphasis on less expensive and more effective community resources for lower-level offenders.  And by Georgians, we mean folks out there in the real world, well beyond the State Capitol in Atlanta. A newly released poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and the Mellman Group for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project found proposed reforms in HB 242 enjoy widespread support among conservatives, liberals and independents.  The bill would enact recommendations from the 2012 Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. HB 242 is scheduled for its first Senate hearing on… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation The Georgia House voted 173 – 0 Thursday morning to pass juvenile justice and civil code reforms that would dramatically change our response to young people who commit crimes, run away,  violate probation or who are in desperate need of services.  HB 242, the biggest rethink in Georgia juvenile strategies in decades, is a massive 244-page bill that would rewrite juvenile justice and civil code.  Now the bill moves to the Senate.  (Watch the House floor discussion and vote.) Friday the House is scheduled to vote on HB 349, companion legislation for the adult system that would change the minimum mandatory sentencing laws for drug trafficking and other serious felony… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Thousands of daycare workers now employed statewide would be required to undergo federal fingerprint background checks under legislation introduced in the House.  Not all at once, mind you, as there would be a phase-in period but eventually, there would be a more complete picture about the felony criminal histories of day care workers, including possible abuse histories. “The safety and security of children are the primary concerns,” said Carolyn Salvador, executive director at the Georgia Child Care Association (GCCA) which is the state’s largest organization representing day care centers.  GCCA has endorsed passage of HB 350.  And, it has been at the table alongside state officials to address issues that… View Article

New Criminal Justice Reform Council Proposed Through 2023

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia would establish an ongoing criminal justice reform council to oversee adult and juvenile justice issues in the state as part of proposed sentencing and corrections legislation being considered by policymakers this session. In addition, adult criminal court judges would be allowed to depart from minimum mandatory sentences in a significantly small number of drug trafficking cases under legislation now before a House committee.  Many of the provisions in  HB 349, now before a House committee, were developed by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform.  The Special Council’s juvenile justice recommendations are contained in HB 242. This week will be important for both pieces of legislation.  Tuesday afternoon,… View Article

A Model for Using Hybrid Approach in the Classroom

By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation As the research continues to try to keep up with the practice on online and blended learning, it can be useful to look at what the marketplace of ideas is producing in the real world. Last week Education Sector profiled Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School, a charter school in Los Angeles, and discussed the school’s use of technology to expand the reach of its teachers: “The school uses a hybrid model that combines online and traditional instruction and allows students to learn in three different ways. On this particular fall day, 16 students are getting traditional in-person instruction in Algebra I from teacher Wendy Chaves; roughly the same number… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION EVENT February 19, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org  Register for “American Dream, American Nightmare,” with Cato’s Randal O’Toole Atlanta – Did you know that Georgia had the nation’s fourth-highest foreclosure rate in 2012? There were 105,610 foreclosure filings last year, or one for every 39 homes. Who’s to blame? Greedy bankers? Corrupt politicians? Ignorant homeowners? Find out from Randal O’Toole, author of, “American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership,” at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast at 8.a.m. on Tuesday, February 19 at Cobb County’s Georgian Club.   The event, titled “American Dream, American Nightmare“, is a not-to-be-missed explanation of the forces at play in the housing… View Article

How the South Will Rise to Power Again

By Joel Kotkin Joel KotkinDistinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban FuturesChapman University The common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full of overweight, prejudiced, exploited and under-educated numb skulls . This meme was perfectly captured in this Bill Maher-commissioned video from Alexandra Pelosi, the New York-based daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Given the level of imbecility, maybe we’d be better off if the former Confederate states exiled themselves into their own redneck empire. Travel writer Chuck Thompson recently suggested this approach in a new book. Right now, however, Northerners can content themselves with the largely total isolation of Southerners from the corridors of executive power. Yet even as the old Confederacy’s political banner… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgians will need a comfy couch, lots of time and perhaps some caffeine when they begin to read newly introduced juvenile justice and civil code legislation.  Juvenile justice provisions in  House Bill 242 include a proposal to completely revise the state’s 32-year-old juvenile Designated Felony Act, a long overdue step forward, by creating two classes of more and less serious juvenile felony crimes. Juvenile civil code revisions would update laws that govern how juvenile courts operate and the rights of minors in custody and other situations.  The legislation is a comfy couch read at 244 pages.  The juvenile justice sections closely follow the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations,… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein declared the state is at a “crossroads in juvenile justice history” and challenged the General Assembly to expand mental health services for “clearly disturbed youngsters” during her final State of the Judiciary address, telling lawmakers, “We wait for the explosion and it will come” unless courts have more resources for dealing with juveniles who are clearly at risk to themselves and others. Hunstein delivered her final State of the Judiciary Address to the General Assembly Thursday morning in Atlanta.  Her term as Chief Justice expires later this year.  Hunstein devoted a major section of her remarks to adult and juvenile justice system reforms. … View Article

TaxReformTheGame.Com … Welcome to Planet Wonky!

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Warning:  Your star ship is about to land on Planet Wonky!   After all, discussions about whether to broaden the tax base, change exemptions and deductions and other such discourse are, if nothing else, wonky.    Even the wonkiest of wonks admit that what they do is too wonky for most folks.  But ah ha!  Now there is a wonky game for even the least wonky among us. TaxReformTheGame.Com has launched on the internet.   It is your ticket to rewriting Georgia’s tax code all by yourself using the two simplest rules in the game:  Point and Click.  Each time you point and click, each time you change the data going in, you… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is our state’s leading organization promoting government transparency. The Secretary of State’s office shares the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, which is why our agency was the first in Georgia to publish its budget and spending data on a public transparency website.

Karen Handel, Georgia Secretary of State more quotes