March 23: Register now to attend the Foundation’s March Leadership Breakfast, “Capitol Insight,” with keynote speaker Lynn Westmoreland, who retired recently after six terms as a Congressman from Georgia. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here.
Quotes of note
“All too will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” – Thomas Jefferson, inaugural address, March 4, 1801
“[T]he great danger to our institutions does not appear to me to be in a usurpation by the Government of power not granted by the people, but by the accumulation in one of the departments of that which was assigned to others.” – William Henry Harrison, inaugural address, March 4, 1841
“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.” – Donald Trump, inaugural address, January 19, 2017
Today is Crossover Day, meaning if a bill does not pass in either the House or Senate by the end of the day, it is unlikely to become law this year.
Bills of interest that have passed in the House:
A bill reducing some of the onerous requirements on sale of beer from craft breweries
A bill that would make Georgia the 17th state to authorize direct primary care
A bill that would expand the ability of dental hygienists to provide dental care in safety net settings
A bill increasing the cap on tuition tax credit scholarships
A bill to lower Georgia’s individual income tax from 6 percent to 5.4 percent
Still alive in the House:
A bill that incorporates some of the charter school reforms recommended by the Governor’s Education Reform Commission
A bill that would freeze civil asset forfeiture proceedings pending a criminal conviction or acquittal
A bill that would encourage the development of broadband in rural Georgia
Bills of interest that have passed in the Senate:
Three criminal justice reform bills passed in the Senate, primarily focusing on streamlining the parole and probation system in Georgia as recommended by the Criminal Justice Reform Council, as well as improving juvenile justice outcomes. The bills are here, here, and here.
Still alive in the Senate:
A bill to create universal Education Savings Accounts (the committee refused to hold a vote on the bill, so this would have to be attached to other legislation on the floor).
Costs: Had regulation been held constant at 1980 levels, the U.S. economy would have been nearly 25 percent larger by 2012, according to a Mercatus study, “The Cumulative Cost of Regulations.” It found that regulatory growth since 1980 cost the GDP $4 trillion in 2012, or about $13,000 per capita and dampened economic growth about 0.8 percent annually.
EPA rule sinks: President Trump has signed an executive order requiring the federal Environmental Protection Agency to roll back its rule governing the Waters of the United States. The Clean Water Act says that the EPA can regulate “navigable waters,” but the EPA redefined “navigable waters” in what Trump called “a massive power grab.”
Trim waste, too: President Trump needs to cut more than regulations, according to the Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy: “The large number of improper payments by government agencies is another area that could use the president’s attention, with the worst culprit being the Medicare fee-for-service system.” She proposes auditing more government programs.
Get Georgia Reading: March is Get Georgia Reading Month. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are read to during infancy and preschool years have better language skills when they start school and are more interested in reading. “In addition, parents who spend time reading to their children create nurturing relationships, which is important for a child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development.”
This month in the archives: In March 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “What Georgia Should Do About Certificate of Need.” It noted, “Once a true safety net is established, the CON laws governing procedures for routine medical care should be abolished to encourage competition and lower costs for everyone.” We’re still waiting for reform.
YouTube: Foundation events are videotaped for viewing through YouTube. Watch the February 22 event with Dick Carpenter on “Bottleneckers” here. View the January event, “Balancing the Books,” with Dr. Ben. Scafidi, here. View the December event on education funding reform with Mike Dudgeon and Erin Hames here.
Foundation in the news: Kelly McCutchen was quoted on income tax reform proposals under the Gold Dome in an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and an editorial in The Newnan Times-Herald. The Heartland Institute cited the Foundation in an article on Direct Primary Care in Georgia.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Find the Foundation on social media at Facebook, twitter.com/gppf and Instagram.
The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)