Tag: Mike Klein

What We’re Watching at the Capitol

By Mike Klein    The General Assembly returns Monday for Day 22 with Crossover Day 30 scheduled for March 3 and adjournment scheduled Wednesday March 20.  Below are some of the bills related to recent Foundation policy proposals:   Criminal Justice Reform: With fewer than half of the Legislature’s calendar remaining, criminal justice reform legislation has not yet made its appearance.  The 2014 bill is expected to closely follow recommendations from the Council on Criminal Justice Reform.  Elements would include public and private sector enhancements to help former felons find employment.  The goal of this year’s legislation is program development to reduce recidivism, which is the rate at which former prisoners return to incarceration within three years because of a new… View Article
Update:  House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Wendell Willard said Tuesday morning that he would wait “a few days” before asking that this legislation be considered on the House floor. By Mike Klein “Icemageddon” will delay until next week House consideration of civil forfeiture legislation but when the bill is announced, do not expect to find Georgia sheriffs applauding from the rafters. “Unfortunately, we are going to oppose the bill,” Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin said when he testified before House Judiciary last Thursday on behalf of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.  Sheriffs have opposed civil forfeiture reform since last year but conversations last week appeared to create at least the sliver of a chance they might come on-board. Instead, Griffin read a… View Article

Foster Care Reform Bill on Senate Hearing Calendar Today

By Mike Klein Brittany Jean and Crystal Williams sat in a State Capitol hearing room last week listening to a discussion about whether Georgia should expand the role of foster care private providers.  Then they had their chance to talk about what it’s really like growing up as foster care teenagers. “What I care about is making sure that this bill encompasses things that really help us because at the end of the day the youth don’t care about who’s doing it, how they’re doing it (or) what the funding is,” Brittany Jean told a Senate subcommittee.  “They care about their success.” Jean credited her success to church involvement as one of her foster parents was a minister.  “The church… View Article

What Do Y’all Do?

By Benita M. Dodd Kelly McCutchen, the Big Guy at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, came into my office this morning to show me the Google Analytics for the Foundation’s Web site. For those who don’t know Google Analytics, it’s Google’s breakdown of where people alight on the Foundation Web site. (For those who don’t know the Foundation’s Web site, it’s www.georgiapolicy.org!) The page with the most visits? “Who We Are.” I’m not surprised. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle read us and heed us – or not.  Georgia State Senator Fran Millar, for example, says, “The ability to call on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and its network of experts for research and feedback… View Article

Friday Facts: February 7, 2014

It’s Friday! Events  February 26: Tired of Washington’s out-of-control spending? The Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast focuses on the “The Case for the Compact for a Balanced Budget,” keynoted by Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute. The 8 a.m. event at the Galleria Centre in Cobb County is open to the public; registration is $25 per person. Find out more here; register online by Monday, February 24, at http://bit.ly/LewuTz. (Please note: This event is NOT at the Georgian Club.) March 5: You are invited to join the Foundation’s celebration of 23 years of promoting liberty in Georgia at its Annual Dinner at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The keynote speaker is Daniel Garza, a first-generation American… View Article
By Mike Klein The House Judiciary committee will conduct its first and likely only hearing on civil forfeiture reform Thursday afternoon with passage of HB 1 widely anticipated.  The bill moved out of subcommittee Wednesday after adoption of several amendments; most were read in previous hearings but some were new since legislators last convened to discuss the bill. One key amendment assures the right of a property owner to file a claim that would be heard in court if he or she believes property was improperly taken into civil forfeiture. Another amendment adopted Wednesday afternoon would give district attorneys the first opportunity to investigate other law enforcement agencies who file improper civil forfeiture reports.  The bill originally stated that the… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia legislators will have an opportunity this session to discuss whether the state should implement a creative approach that would retain the investigation of child abuse claims in the public sector but enhance private sector resources for children who are in foster care custody. Senate Bill 350 introduced this week draws its lineage from Senate working group hearings that were convened this past fall by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.  The legislation was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee.  There is no first hearing date at this writing. How to care for children who are in child welfare services custody has been controversial for years.  Although the number fluctuates, about 7,000 children are in state custodial… View Article
(Watch YouTube links to view civil forfeiture reform hearing testimony.) By Mike Klein Given a chance to influence the civil forfeiture reform debate, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association declined to appear at a House hearing, preferring to send a letter stating opposition to changes the Association said “will not serve to protect or benefit the citizens of our State.”  The vice chairman of the committee that held the hearing referred to the letter as “playing games.” Friday afternoon discussions that packed a State Capitol hearing room were noteworthy because HB 1 had support from every organization that testified including prosecuting and defense attorneys, the Institute for Justice, ACLU of Georgia, Americans for Prosperity Georgia and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of… View Article

Friday Facts: January 24, 2014

January 24, 2013  It’s Friday! Jan. 26-Feb. 1 is National School Choice Week! In just four short years, National School Choice Week has mushroomed nationwide from 150 events in 2010 to more than 5,500 this year. Today’s the deadline! Register now for “School Choice and Georgia: An Update,” the Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday, January 28. In celebration of National School Choice Week, the panel discussion at Cobb County’s Georgian Club features three of Georgia’s leading education experts: Eric Wearne, Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi. The first 50 people to register for this event will receive their very own school choice woobie – and you can wear it to the School Choice Rally at the… View Article

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Gets a Facelift

By Mike Klein Georgia civil forfeiture reform legislation has undergone a cosmetic facelift that might improve its chances for passage but critics are already focused on language which states “an acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding shall not preclude civil forfeiture proceedings.” In effect, you could be found innocent in court but you could still lose your personal property. An HB 1 substitute was published Tuesday afternoon after the first meeting of the House Judiciary committee chaired by Rep. Wendell Willard who is the bill’s primary sponsor.  The new bill makes significant concessions to prosecutors and sheriffs who essentially shut down civil forfeiture reform effort last year with their strong opposition to proposed reforms. Civil forfeiture is the concept… View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes