Tag: Mike Klein

Georgia penitentiaries continue to feed, clothe and pay medical expenses for hundreds of inmates who were approved for parole but cannot be released because they have nowhere to live.  About two-thirds are convicted sex offenders.   About one-third require mental illness treatment but otherwise they are not considered a threat to public safety. “We have got to do something about the housing situation, about the need for these individuals to have stable housing in order to be able to assimilate back into communities,” state Rep. Jay Neal said during a hearing that he chaired this week.  Testimony was heard from officials at state pardons and parole and community affairs, the Clayton County sheriff’s office and Support Housing Atlanta. Having nowhere to… View Article
Last week’s State Capitol hearing about whether voters should be allowed to decide school choice in Georgia had nearly concluded when this final question was posed:  In the event that no constitutional amendment is passed, and no other action is taken by the General Assembly, would the state be unable to intervene in any local school board decisions that are deemed to be harmful to children? The answer in a moment, but first here is some perspective.  Georgia thought it decided one aspect of school choice four years ago when the General Assembly created a charter schools commission, but last spring the state Supreme Court ruled the commission unconstitutional in a 4-to-3 opinion.  That vote has placed literally thousands of… View Article
Mike Klein, GPPF Forum Editor This morning the conservative Tax Foundation released its comprehensive analysis of state tax structure policies that impact business growth.  The message for Georgia:  We Can Do Better.  Georgia is ranked No. 34 nationally, unchanged from one year ago.  Georgia lawmakers continue to struggle with how to enact comprehensive revenue neutral tax reform. The Tax Foundation annual report compares states against each other in five tax categories:  corporate, personal income, sales, unemployment insurance and personal property.  Georgia collects all five; some states do not.  With no personal income tax, Florida ranked fifth nationally.  Three states have no personal or corporate income taxes. Some states impose no sales tax. The Tax Foundation wrote, “The lesson is simple:… View Article
Congratulations!  Georgia Virtual School science department chair Asherrie Yisrael has been selected as a finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year.  The award has two sponsor organizations: the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Yisrael was named  2010 – 2011 Georgia Virtual School Teacher of the Year.  Her specialties are advanced placement physics, forensic science and physical science.  Georgia Virtual School (GAVS) is the state Department of Education online learning program resource.   It has about 10,000 students who select online courses from a broad-based curriculum. Thirty-nine online teachers from 26 states were nominated for the SREB – iNACOL award.  The winner will be announced on March 1 during SREB’s… View Article
There was a whale in the room Thursday morning at the State Capitol. THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. Community Health commissioner David Cook had nearly finished his hour-long budget testimony when a question came from the floor:  In years ahead, what is the expected fiscal impact of federal health care reform?    “The 2014 budget is going to be a whale,” Cook said.  “We’re going to have to be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Where we come up with the money is going to be a challenge.” Cook said projections are the ACA will cost $2.5 billion additional dollars between 2014 and 2019, and up to $5 billion between 2019 and 2023.  “As the Act becomes more… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal opened three days of House-Senate appropriations hearings by taking exception to media reports that suggest his budget is a significant spending increase. Deal proposed a $19.2 million Fiscal 2013 budget, up from $18.3 million this year.  Increases would fully fund anticipated K-12 enrollment growth, required pension and the state health care benefit obligations, improve Medicaid funding and enable the state to purchase new prison beds “for those who truly need to be locked up,” the Governor said. “Other than funding these areas of growth, my budget calls for funding increases of three-tenths of 1 percent,” Deal told assembled legislators at the State Capitol, “not the figure that you have seen in some of the media reports.”  Deal… 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

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.

Former Georgia Senate Minority Leader Chuck Clay more quotes