Quotes of note
“We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.” – George Washington (1777)
“Simple cause-and-effect logic tells us that if you want to lose weight, you don’t eat french fries and ice cream at every meal. It’s common sense. But every day, legislators pass bills that have opposite and counterproductive effects. So much for logic.” – Veronique de Rugy
August 23: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on Thursday, August 23, at the 1818 Club in Duluth for a Leadership Breakfast, “Policy Over Politics,” with keynote speaker Kyle Wingfield, the Foundation’s president. Welcome by Georgia State Rep. Brett Harrell, a longtime friend of the Foundation and Gwinnett County resident. 8 a.m. (Registration, networking 7:30 a.m.) $20. Register here.
September 7: Mark your calendar for the 2018 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. This daylong event on Friday, September 7 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel will include sessions on health care reform, education innovation, pension reform and more. Details soon; view last year’s program here.
Early voting begins: Early voting began Monday for Georgia’s primary election runoffs and will run most days through July 20 in advance of the July 24 election day. Races include the GOP contests for governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state and the Democrats’ nominees for state school superintendent and the 6th and 7th congressional districts. Source: Patch.com
Patient-unfriendly: Georgia ranks 49th in the nation in the 2018 Mercatus Center’s Healthcare Openness and Access Project (HOAP), which measures the flexibility and discretion that a state’s patients and providers have in managing health and health care. That’s up two positions from 2016, with New Jersey 50th and New York last. Best in the nation is Wyoming. View the full GA State Report.
Everything old is new again: The compact disc is going the way of the eight-track and cassette tape, judging by Best Buy’s decision to end CD sales. Industry-wide, CD sales declined 20 percent to $1.2 billion in 2016, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, while revenue from paid music subscriptions nearly doubled to $2.3 billion. (The CD format peaked at $13.2 billion in 2010.) Don’t give up, though: Best Buy is continuing to sell vinyl records! Source: Billboard
Boobytrapped law: Georgia agreed to halt enforcement of the state’s new occupational licensing law, a lactation consultant licensing law, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed on behalf the 800 “Certified Lactation Consultants.” The law does not recognize their certification and they faced fines upward of $500 per day. The only certification recognized is “International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.” The law was enacted so health insurers would cover the cost of the service, which nature has provided at no charge to billions of mothers for thousands of years. Source: Institute for Justice
Bureaucratic hurdles: “For the past four years, the annual rate of charter school growth has declined nationally from 14 percent annual student enrollment growth in 2014 to 5 percent in 2017,” the Washington Examiner reports. It cited a recent study that found, “Several probable reasons for the decline exist, namely the difficulties charter school organizers go through to be granted a charter and the lack of equitable financial support to gain and sustain school facilities in many states.”
‘Deserts’: Portions of Atlanta are among the areas that need charter schools most, according to a new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “The city has upwards of 40 charter schools, including many in high-poverty neighborhoods. But neighborhoods in south Atlanta, where poverty rates climb as high as 61.2 percent, still lack quality school options,” write Amber M. Northern and Michael J. Petrilli in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This month in the archives: In June 15 years ago, the Foundation published, “Broadband Access in Georgia.” It noted, “The truth is that some unserved customers are simply too remote to be efficiently connected by the ‘budget broadband’ technologies – DSL and cable – that work well for almost everyone else. New options, however, are already emerging to fill these gaps in the market.” And they continue to do so!
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Georgia’s Taxing Options after the Supreme Court’s Online Sales Tax Ruling,” by Jeffrey Dorfman.
Have a great weekend!
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
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Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.