Category: The Forum

Georgia appears prepared to make significant changes to its unemployment benefits program, changes that could have an impact on Georgians without jobs.  Options under review at the State Capitol include a waiting period that would delay the first check, fewer total state benefit weeks and reducing the maximum weekly benefit dollars. Some combination of these three ideas or others is possible.  Governor Nathan Deal’s chief spokesman Brian Robinson said, “The governor is looking at several options that we’ll discuss with legislators once the 2012 session begins.”  Lawmakers return in January but the real work to get key issues ready for the General Assembly has been underway for months. Georgia’s “official” unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, well above the 8.6 percent… View Article
A grandfather whose grandson is in middle school asked the boy what he enjoyed most about his classes.  The boy said manufacturing class because he liked to create things.  In the often abstract and vague world of middle school, manufacturing class made sense. That begs the question:  Have we become so focused on traditional subjects, test preparation and achieving wide varieties of state or federal standards that we risk losing the kids when they can no longer relate to what they are learning or apply it to their lives? My middle school experience included building things in eighth grade wood shop.  When you measure the angles correctly and cut the wood precisely, you can build a table.  The lessons learned… View Article

Friday Facts: December 2nd, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – “Portland: Model or Maverick?” The Foundation’s final Leadership Breakfast of 2011 is at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, December 14, at the Georgian Club in Cobb County. John Charles, president and CEO of the Cascade Policy Institute of Oregon, will keynote “Portland: Model or Maverick?” a look at that city’s land use and transportation policies and how they would work in metro Atlanta. Registration for this event is $25. For information, go to http://tinyurl.com/6s23ruw. To register, go to http://tinyurl.com/7mcebeg   Quotations – “Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.” – … View Article
This article written by Policy Foundation Forum Editor Mike Klein was published this week by Texas – based Right on Crime and also by the Franklin Center for Government Watchdog websites.  Right on Crime is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Georgia’s criminal justice reform special council has delivered a recipe of recommendations that, if adopted by the General Assembly next year, could eventually shorten behind-the-bars time for some nonviolent offenders. It would also change the direction for treatment of adult inmates whose needs might better be addressed in mental health settings than state prisons. The executive summary states, “Many of the policy proposals in this report focus on improving community-based supervising, sanctions and services as well as… View Article

Friday Facts: November 18th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – Register today: John Charles, president and CEO of the Cascade Policy Institute of Oregon, will keynote “Portland: Model or Maverick?” a Foundation Leadership Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, December 14, at the Georgian Club in Cobb County. Registration for this Leadership Breakfast is $25. For information, click here:http://tinyurl.com/6s23ruw To register, click here: http://tinyurl.com/7mcebeg   Quotations – “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” – Thomas Jefferson – “The most urgent necessity is not that the State should teach, but that it should allow education. All monopolies are detestable, but the worst of… View Article
The following excerpts contain all the substantial recommendations contained within the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform report that was released today by Governor Nathan Deal’s office. There was no news conference at the time this article was posted.  The online complete Special Council report contains extensive sourcing footnotes that were eliminated here to ease reading.  Edited for length. Policies to Protect Public Safety, Hold Offenders Accountable and Contain Corrections Costs Georgia policymakers are looking for ways to increase public safety and to control corrections spending and growth in the prison population. Per its legislative mandate, the Council undertook an extensive review of the state’s data and practices to analyze whether Georgia’s laws, policies and practices were focused on reducing… View Article
This morning Governor Nathan Deal’s office has released the long-awaited Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations.  Here is Governor Deal’s accompanying statement: “The Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform has exceeded expectations by delivering a comprehensive, serious and well-crafted report. I joined members of the General Assembly in asking this council to provide us with a starting point. We still have a long way to go in this process, as my office engages with legislators and concerned Georgians on where we go from here. Obviously, the council has provided us with an in-depth study and recommendations. One of those recommendations I have already agreed to: I will sign an executive order to keep a council intact so that it… View Article
Millionaires – the fat cats who continue to get fatter – are everywhere and they are the problem, dragging down everyone else who is not living their lavish lifestyles with their country clubs and their private educations and their vacation villas and you know, they just keep reproducing like rabbits and shouldn’t we really be doing something about them.  Like maybe take their money. Occupy Anywhere campers would have you believe rich cats are the festering sore of society.  Get rid of rich people and then we can address society ills like human waste in city parks. Those who subscribe to the idea that millionaires undermine the economy and we need wealth redistribution should be overjoyed at a Mercatus Center… View Article
Sometime soon – maybe this week – Georgians will get their first glimpse at adult corrections reform ideas that are essential to restore fiscal sanity to runaway costs, maintain appropriate punishment for the crime and do both without sacrificing public safety.  That’s a tall order. A special council on criminal justice reform report that was due to Governor Nathan Deal on November 1st is still not public two weeks later.  The date is less important than whether the council report contains recommendations that can be embraced by legislators during an election year.  No one wants to campaign on the slogan, “I’m Soft on Crime!” Political considerations aside, corrections reform must succeed.  Failure is not an option. Georgians have not forgotten… View Article
Atlanta – With regional transportation challenges front and center in Georgia, the smart growth role model takes on the poster child for sprawl at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s final Leadership Breakfast of 2011, scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. The topic is “Portland: Model or Maverick?” and keynote speaker John Charles, president and CEO of Oregon’s Cascade Policy Institute, will discuss whether Portland’s “smart growth” approach to land use regulation and transportation policy is workable for metro Atlanta, often referred to as the “poster child for urban sprawl.” Charles has led the Cascade Policy Institute since May 2005. Before joining Cascade, he was executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council for 17 years,… View Article

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U.S. Representative Johnny Isakson more quotes