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By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Governor Nathan Deal on Thursday signed an adult criminal justice reform bill that revises minimum mandatory sentencing laws, expands the state’s right to evidence appeals and creates a new Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Commission that will remain on-the-watch until 2023.  In sum, the state will continue to consider criminal justice best practices for another ten years. The House Bill 349 signing ceremony was held in Marietta where Deal said, “When I first became Governor I was concerned about something that I was told Republicans shouldn’t really be concerned about and that was the fact that we were the tenth largest state in population but that we had the fourth largest prison… View Article
Benita DoddVice PresidentGeorgia Public Policy Foundation By Benita M. Dodd “Climate change has many faces,” notes the Web site for Earth Day 2013, which takes place Monday, April 22. “A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops … the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests. …” It’s a lengthy list. Unfortunately, it’s incomplete. It’s time to add a few more faces to the pitiful environment painted by Earth Day organizers. An entrepreneur and small business shouldering the regulatory burden. The Small Business Administration reports that compliance with environmental regulations costs small… View Article

Malpractice Law Is Bad for Your Health

By John C. Goodman and Pamela Villarreal   One of the worst features of the American health care system is the sorry state of medical malpractice law. Fewer than 2 percent of injured patients ever file a lawsuit. Of those that do, only one in 15 receives compensation. More than half of every dollar goes to cover the cost of litigation, rather than to the injured and their families.  Ironically, the medical malpractice system is inordinately focused on whether someone was at fault when an injury or accident occurs. Of the estimated 187,000 deaths and 6 million injuries that occur in hospitals each year, about one in four are considered negligent (malpractice). Another one-fourth (such as certain types of infections) is… View Article

Friday Facts: April 12, 2013

 April 12, 2013  It’s Friday! Events April 23: The deadline is April 19 to register for “Telehealth: Taking Health Care to The Next Level,” the Foundation’s next Leadership Breakfast, at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. The moderator is Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald of the Georgia Department of Public Health, with telemedicine expert panelists Dr. Jeffrey English, Dr. Jeffrey Grossman and Paula Guy of the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth. The cost is $25 to attend; register online at http://tinyurl.com/ck6v4yt. Find out more at www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=9075. (Attire: business, business casual.) April 18: Retired Georgia Tech Professor James H. Rust, a policy adviser for the Heartland Institute, gives a talk, “The Role of… View Article

Friday Facts: March 29, 2012

It’s Friday! If you missed the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Annual Dinner on Wednesday night, you missed a great event. About 250 supporters heard a rousing keynote speech from The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore. To see the Foundation’s brief video presentation at the Annual Dinner, go here: http://tinyurl.com/boxm5k5. Mission accomplished! Thank you to all our friends, who helped us meet our goal and even pushed us beyond 2,000 “likes” on Facebook in the middle of our Annual Dinner! View the latest Quotes of Note, Policy Points, EduFacts and Foundation photos at facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf. Quotes of Note “Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.” – Benjamin View Article

Time to End the Medical Device Tax

By Tim Lusby The most ill-conceived federal sales tax law took effect this year, created by the Executive and Legislative branches and their staff attorneys who obviously have never made a payroll or managed a business.  Section 1405(a) of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which amended the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires any “manufacturer, producer, or importer” of taxable medical devices to pay a tax equal to 2.3 percent of the sale price of the device. This is a nonpartisan issue. The United States Senate approved an amendment recently to end the tax by a margin of 79 to 20. Unfortunately, the amendment was attached to the nonbinding Senate budget resolution that will never pass in… 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
By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Colleges around the country, including Emory, are constantly experimenting with online learning.  New formats and offerings appear somewhere every semester.  Many colleges already partner with the private company Coursera to offer fully online courses (though not for normal credits). Last week San Jose State University reached an agreement with another private online learning company, Udacity, to offer Udacity courses, with the aid of live San Jose State classroom instructors, for San Jose State credit in some remedial and introductory courses.   While disruptive to the normal way of conducting classes, this arrangement might represent a compromise skeptics can accept.  All three of the groups involved in this deal stand to benefit… View Article
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 market in Georgia and in the nation, and how to rebuild the American Dream of homeownership. This event will cost $25 to attend. Register online by Friday,… View Article

Beleaguered DOT’s To-Do List is Doable

(Guest column published January 29 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) By Benita Dodd Benita DoddVice PresidentGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia’s Department of Transportation has been under fire in recent years, much of it deserved amid unwise policy decisions and lackadaisical financial management.  Under new management, with greater transparency and financial accountability, the agency is doing better.  But still more can be done for policy to progress in Georgia’s current economic climate. The department’s job is complicated by the lack of available funding.  Last year, voters in all but three of 12 regions rejected a proposed regional penny sales tax that would have funded projects in each region.  The shortfall is more serious when considering declining fuel tax revenues; congressional earmarks that… View Article

The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.

Senator Herman E. Talmadge more quotes