Tag: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Georgia was ranked 48th — third from the bottom nationally – beating out just Utah and Arizona – in a federal analysis of personal health care spending per capita, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.   The report analyzed all spending, not just government budget expenses. Georgia personal health care spending at $5,467 per capita in 2009 was well below the $6,815 national average.  Ten-of-twelve southern states were below the national average.  Alabama ($6,272) joined Georgia in the bottom ten states as did two of the most populous states — Texas ($5,924) and California ($6,238).  Most New England states were above average. Personal health care spending annual… View Article
Next month the Georgia legislature will begin to consider whether substance abusers who are not a public safety risk should receive a stay out of jail card. How lawmakers decide the question could slow down runaway costs and impact state corrections policy for decades. Last month the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform said options – notably, more drug courts and treatment plus more day reporting centers — could reduce state prison population growth.  Drug courts are part of an accountability sentencing movement that includes mental health courts and veterans’ courts.  Here is what the council said about substance abuse: “In 2010, Georgia courts sent more than 5,000 lower-risk drug and property offenders to prison who have never been to… View Article
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
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
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

Pipeline from Canada Trickles Down to Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd Choosing between energy independence and energy security is like choosing between cherry pie and pie-in-the-sky: Only one is real. A 1,700-mile planned oil pipeline from Canada to Texas could bring security to this nation’s oil supply, but environmental activists and (more recently) “Occupy” types pushing for pie-in-the-sky independence from fossil fuel energy are doing everything they can to deny Americans energy security. The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline would carry more than a half-million barrels of oil a day from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, across several U.S. states to U.S. refineries in the Gulf.  It holds enormous promise for the United States, which imports about half of its oil. First, the Canadian-financed pipeline assures… View Article

“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.

State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes