Tag: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Atlanta resident Josiah Neff is so passionate about civil asset forfeiture reform in Georgia that last year he filed suit. One of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Fulton County, the software company employee was outraged that the agencies didn’t even bother to comply with state law requiring them to disclose the private property they seized under suspicion that it was used or involved in criminal activity. Three months later, when the suit went to trial, it took the judge just 30 minutes to rule the agencies out of compliance. But the victory for Neff, who currently heads Atlanta’s Libertarian Party, is hollow for the rest of Georgia: As of publication of this commentary… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Atlanta resident Josiah Neff is so passionate about civil asset forfeiture reform in Georgia that last year he filed suit. One of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Fulton County, the software company employee was outraged that the agencies didn’t even bother to comply with state law requiring them to disclose the private property they seized under suspicion that it was used or involved in criminal activity. Three months later, when the suit went to trial, it took the judge just 30 minutes to rule the agencies out of compliance. But the victory for Neff, who currently heads Atlanta’s Libertarian Party, is hollow for the rest of Georgia: As of… View Article
Republicans seem almost united that the General Assembly should not consider legislation this session to create a health insurance exchange.  “The House, the Senate and the Governor have all agreed to wait on that,” Sen. Renee Unterman said Thursday morning. Well, united with at least one exception.  Former lawmaker and second-year Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said, “I would like to see the legislature move forward with an exchange,” when he sat next to Unterman at “Health Care Unscrambled” hosted by Georgians for a Healthy Future.  Think of it as “Eggs and Aspirin” under dim lighting at the Freight Depot. “Wait on that” means wait for this summer’s hotly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court opinion that will decide whether the federal health… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal’s Fiscal 2013 proposed budget includes $700 million in new bonded projects with $235 million for the University System, $177 million for the state Board of Education and $55 million for the Technical College System.  The overall bonds package is larger than $563 million proposed by the Governor last year. The largest pieces of the University System package are $59 million to design and construct an engineered biosystems building at Georgia Tech; $52.3 million for a veterinary medical learning center at the University of Georgia; $35 million for general improvements; $28 million for a medical education commons at the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta; and, $25.2 million for a new health building at Georgia Gwinnett College. Other… View Article
Georgia Public Broadcasting was named in Governor Nathan Deal’s 2013 proposed budget as one of 35 programs that will participate in zero-based budgeting reviews.  GPB is the only state authority whose budget shows up in the zero-based budget review category. During his Tuesday evening State of the State address Governor Deal said 10 percent of state programs would move to zero-based budgets. Popularly known as GPB-TV and GPB Radio, the authority’s official name is Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission.  The state public broadcaster is attached to the University System Board of Regents for budget purposes.  Governor Deal’s 2013 proposed budget would give GPB a very slight budget trim to $12.3 million in state dollars, less than the two percent average reduction… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal looked to the stars for guidance Tuesday evening as he delivered his second State of the State address before the General Assembly in Atlanta.  During a 42-minute address the Governor from Gainesville described his goal to achieve another world class medical college in Georgia, announced millions of new dollars for public education, threw a lifeline to former state commission charter schools and he put his stamp firmly onto corrections reform.  Before doing that, Deal turned to the stars. “Georgians have charged us to set a course for our state and they have defined the stars that we must follow to expand opportunity; the star of education – we must provide great schools that will cultivate the minds… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal has unveiled a package of tax reforms and tax credits that he says are essential to make Georgia the number one state in the nation to do business.  One theme was familiar – reducing the energy tax on manufacturing – but other elements were new from the Competitiveness Initiative Task Force that the governor announced one year ago. “Today, in executive offices right here in Georgia, business leaders are making the business decision to  expand manufacturing activity and facilities in neighboring states,” Deal said at the state Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” breakfast.  “Every time they make that decision, we miss out on new investment in our communities and new opportunities for Georgians.” Deal’s address to… View Article
As Georgia emerges from the recession, we face a great opportunity to reshape state government for the future. Rather than blindly funding the same ineffective programs, we can rebuild smarter, more efficient programs. ● Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly laid the groundwork in 2011 for the first fundamental change by establishing a panel of experts to review Georgia’s criminal justice system. The panel’s recommendations present a common-sense strategy to divert nonviolent offenders, especially those with drug or mental health problems, to more effective treatment and community-based options. This will help free up Georgia’s overcrowded prisons, reduce pressure on local jails and still protect people from violent felons. The significant long-term savings from lower incarceration costs will fund the… View Article
Civil asset forfeiture – which is defined as law enforcement’s authority to seize private property on the suspicion of a crime — has landed on the Georgia State Capitol doorstep.  This week the Georgia Public Policy Foundation called for a rewrite of the state’s asset forfeiture laws to protect citizens whose property was seized even though they are charged with no crime. “This issue is more of a threat to private property in Georgia than any other issue,” said GPPF President Kelly McCutchen.  “When you have an innocent owner who has done nothing wrong, hasn’t been convicted of a crime, has not been accused of a crime, and their own government seizes property without compensation, and they have to sue… View Article
In July 2012, the headline that throws the country into turmoil could just be, “Supreme Court Rules Against Health Reform; Now What?” If the 26-state lawsuit succeeds against the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then what? Part or all of the federal law will immediately be null and void. Insurance laws will revert to the inadequate state laws that existed before. Even before the new law, there was bipartisan agreement that health insurance needed reforms. In Georgia, those laws created 1.8 million uninsured Georgians; fewer than one in 4 Georgians working in small businesses were insured. The battle cry is “repeal and replace” from federal politicians, but if the major responsibility for reform goes back to the states,… View Article

The Foundation raises issues of importance above political rhetoric to a point where politicians focus on them and ultimately make quality decisions.

U.S. Representative Johnny Isakson more quotes