Category: News

The Wall Street Journal published an essay by Charles Murray last week, “Regulation Run Amok — And How to Fight Back,” arguing that “America is no longer the land of the free” due to the modern regulatory state. He cites Thomas Jefferson’s definition of good government as one “which shall restrain men from injuring on another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” This presumption of freedom, says Murray, no longer holds. He says that at last count there are nearly 5,000 federal crimes you can commit. He states that “No individual can know how to “obey” laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley (810 pages), the Affordable Care Act (1,024 pages) or… View Article

Eva Galambos: Farewell to an Iron Lady of Georgia

Friends: The funeral for Eva Galambos, the first mayor of Sandy Springs, Ga., was Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Eva was a memorable lady; read her official obituary here. I remember the first time I met her. She came by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation to discuss her favorite topic: creating the City of Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos joined Leonard Gilroy of the Reason Foundation at the first Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in 2010 for a panel discussion on the privatization and outsourcing of government services. We pushed back, questioning the need to create another layer of government. She maintained that consolidated government typically consolidates at the highest service level. She explained: Imagine, for example, two local… View Article

Secretary of State Brian Kemp Keynotes May 14 Event

  EVENT INVITATION April 15, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Secretary of State Brian Kemp Keynotes May 14 Leadership Breakfast Atlanta – The Office of Georgia’s Secretary of State is responsible for voter registration and election activities, professional licensing, corporate filings and oversight of the state securities’ market – a variety of wide-ranging duties with far-reaching impacts. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the statewide-elected official who heads the office, will keynote the Foundation’s May 14 Leadership Breakfast, “License to Work,” 8 a.m. at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Kemp will discuss his efforts to streamline procedures and make it easier to start businesses and the challenges surrounding professional licensing. He’ll… View Article

Where are we as of Day 40?

Status of key economic issues (updated at 10 pm): Education: Increase in the cap on the tuition tax credit scholarship that was hit in a matter of hours on January 1 of this year: No action Education Savings Accounts, similar to those in Arizona and Florida, that allows parents to tailor education spending to meet the unique needs of their children: Passed committee, no vote in the House Creation of a Opportunity School District for failing schools: Passed Move on When Ready 2.0 allowing high school students to take college level classes while still enrolled in high school: Passed Address state charter and virtual school funding: No action Allow workplace charter schools: Passed committee, no vote in the House Allow… View Article

UPDATED: Transportation Funding Update

How did we get here? The portion of Georgia’s motor fuel tax that is dedicated to transportation funding is among the lowest in the nation. Over the last decade, state leaders have diverted funds for maintenance into sorely needed new projects. Today, not only do we have a backup of needed maintenance (not unlike the years of neglected maintenance of the Atlanta sewer system) and additional debt to service, but we also need added investment to relieve some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion in Metro Atlanta and other bottlenecks throughout the state. What is the need? In our lengthy study, we determined Georgia needs $1 billion a year of new revenue to meet ongoing maintenance needs as well… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 31, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Mercatus Study Finds Dire Consequences to Georgia CON Program Atlanta – Since 1979, Georgia has been one of 36 states and the District of Columbia to restrict the supply of health care through certificate-of-need (CON) programs that limit entry or expansion of health facilities, traditionally justified with the claim that they reduce and control health care costs. A study released today by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, however, finds serious consequences for continuing to enforce CON regulations, which restrict competition and choice. It reports that Georgia’s CON program is the 18th most restrictive in the nation, with 17 devices… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 13, 2015 Contact Kelly McCutchen at 404-256-4050 or kmccutchen@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Highlights Solar Energy and Sunshine Week Atlanta – Two years ago this week, Dublin High School in Laurens County broke ground on a solar panel array that was described as a trailblazer funding model and a moneysaver for the school. As she gathered information for an article marking the March 11 anniversary of the groundbreaking, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd gained a renewed appreciation for Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the national initiative for open government and freedom of information that takes place next week (March 15-21). This screen shot shows that Laurens County’s court Web site for the… View Article

Thoughts on the gas tax

The Tax Foundation has released a new report to help federal lawmakers figure out how to address transportation challenges. Some of the advice could also prove helpful to Georgia as we struggle with similar problems. From the Tax Foundation’s press release: If lawmakers decide to look for revenue instead of cutting trust fund spending, their source of revenue should be long-term and should connect drivers as closely to the cost of funding the roads as possible, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. One option is to increase the gas tax, adjust it to inflation, and offset that increase by reducing another tax by the same amount of revenue. Besides being revenue neutral, there are good policy… View Article

Update on Transportation Funding

Below is the current allocation of motor fuel taxes based on the four-year average price of motor fuel where the consumer pays 29.2 cents per gallon. Cents Per Gallon Revenue (in Millions) State Excise Tax 7.5 $450 State Sales Tax 10.2 $610 State Sales Tax (“4th Penny”) 3.4 $203 Local Sales Tax (based on $3.39 average retail price) 8.1 $488 29.2 $1,752 Below would be the allocation of motor fuel taxes based on the current version of the Transportation Funding Act (as of March 4) with the proposed amendment to reduce the state excise tax. This would convert most sales taxes on motor fuel to a state excise tax of 24 cents per gallon. Only SPLOST and ESPLOST sales taxes… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes