The weekly Friday Facts email is the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s most popular publication. Distributed every Friday morning to thousands of subscribers and on social media, this collection summarizes policy news, views, events, and Quotes of Note. Each item is sourced, with links included for further reading. Sign up today and start receiving Friday Facts this week!

Foundation Hails U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Florida-Georgia Water Dispute

April 1, 2021 Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision today to dismiss Florida’s lawsuit in its 8-year-old “water wars” dispute with Georgia: The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling validates the December 2019 recommendation by the Special Master, New Mexico federal Judge Paul Kelly, to dismiss the case, and it vindicates Georgia, which Florida had accused of unfair use of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. As we have said previously, the cap on Georgia’s … Continue Reading →

Foundation Welcomes Georgia Legislature’s Protection of Learning Pods

March 31, 2021 Atlanta — Parents of school-age children can breathe easier after the Georgia General Assembly approved the Learning Pods Protection Act, Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield said today. Parents needed the certainty that learning pods would be protected from overregulation, Wingfield said. “Remote learning, for one reason or another, is here to stay,” Wingfield said, “and some public school districts have already announced they will offer it as a full-time option in the fall. But we also saw earlier this month that, with severe … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Monday: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press briefing today she has a “recurring feeling” of “impending doom” as new daily cases of the coronavirus are rising and the nation approaches 550,000 COVID deaths among 30.2 million cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking dashboard, the United States has reported more than 549,350 deaths among more than 30.2 million cases and leads the world in cases and … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Friday’s Freshest: Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Don’t Let Strings on Covid Cash Make Georgia Feds’ Puppet,” by Kyle Wingfield. Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has long held state government accountable for its spending, as this article from 25 years ago demonstrates. Quotes of note “People who worked through 2020 with no reduction in pay chat about how they are going to spend their ‘stimmy” checks. A poll conducted by a securities firm found that 40% … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Joins Free-Market Coalition Asking Treasury Secretary Yellen to Respect State Powers

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a co-signer on a letter from a coalition of organizations that was sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The text is below. Dear Secretary Yellen, On March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Act), which authorizes $1.9 trillion in new federal funding. The undersigned organizations are state and national think tanks, whose research and educational work, among other things, advances free-market public policy in each of our respective states. Many of the organizations signed on this … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 22, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Calling the shots: The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are made with messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which teaches cells how to make protein that triggers an immune response and produce antibodies without using or injecting the live virus. A drawback of these vaccines is that booster shots may be necessary. In contrast, Johnson &Johnson, China’s CanSino Biologics and AstraZeneca are “viral vector” vaccines: made with a harmless cold virus that acts like a Trojan horse to … Continue Reading →

Four Reasons Georgia Needs to Protect Learning Pods

Learning pods aren’t new, but they’ve had a surge in popularity and interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this visibility has already put learning pods at risk from burdensome overregulation in some states and districts. Georgia should instead protect learning pods from government interference. Parents deserve peace of mind. By protecting learning pods, parents can rest assured that their voluntary choice to work with other parents to create group educational activities will not trigger unmanageable regulatory burdens on their households and children. Parents want pods A recent survey noted that … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 19, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has gauged the pulse of Georgia for reform since its early days, as this poll from 1996 demonstrates. Even then, Georgia voters supported education choice, limited spending and education options, among other reforms. (Keara has article) Quotes of note “The last 30 years of climate policy have delivered high costs and rising emissions. The only reliable ways to cut emissions have been recessions and the COVID-19 lockdowns, both of which are unpalatable. Expecting nations … Continue Reading →

Three Big Reasons to Protect Learning Pods in Georgia

Learning pods aren’t new, but their popularity during COVID-19 has brought them to the forefront in childhood education. Regulators in some states and districts are using this new visibility to try to burden parents and students with new regulations on a model that works for them. Here’s three big reasons why now is the time to protect pods.

To Understand Georgia’s Future, Look in Washington

By Kyle Wingfield The work continues under the Gold Dome, but look farther north to understand Georgia’s future. In Washington, the most evenly divided Congress in two decades wants to turn states into subsidiaries of the federal government they created. Longtime readers know I’m not prone to hyperbole. But these bills could decimate the federalist balance the Founders struck. What’s more, they would erode the ability of well-run states like Georgia to sharpen their competitiveness. First is the latest COVID-19 relief bill. It subsidizes workers who never lost jobs, sends … Continue Reading →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: March 16, 2021

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook. Bye-bye tax cut? Remember President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? The largest overhaul of the tax code in three decades created a single (permanent) corporate tax rate of 21% and, in most cases, lowered the rates in the seven individual-income tax brackets. The tax benefits for individuals and families are set to expire in 2025. H&R Block reports the average tax cut was approximately $1,200, based on the returns it processed for … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 15, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. One concern amid COVID-19 lockdowns, shutdowns, mandates, sheltering at home, isolation and telemedicine is the dangerous decline in routine vaccinations among children. As communities open up again, increasing socialization and interactions, many children – and the vulnerable adults around them – may be susceptible to childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, and there is an opportunity for dangerous outbreaks and rapid spread of such ailments. In a January article in the journal Pediatrics, … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 12, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has championed education options since its beginning. In 2012, Georgia legislators approved the State Charter Schools Commission. View the Foundation’s 2012 video about public charter schools here. Quotes of Note “The coronavirus lockdowns constitute the most extensive attacks on individual freedom in the West since World War II. Yet not a single government has published a cost-benefit analysis to justify lockdown policies – something policymakers are often required to do while making far less … Continue Reading →

Preparing for a Return to “Normal”

By Kyle Wingfield To look back at my calendar this time a year ago is to relive another era. I’d just returned from a three-day conference with peers from around the country. I had three dinner parties on tap, a full slate of lunch meetings, baseball games and scout meetings for the kids, a weekend in Athens my wife and I ultimately decided to skip. Things made their way to the cliff’s edge one by one. A phone call to go over details with the speakers for a March 18 … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 8, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. When I was young, a primary goal of mothers in my community back in South Africa was to ensure that we girls contracted German measles before we were of child-bearing age. If it got around that a young friend with German measles, we were encouraged to hang out with them so we could “get it out of the way.” And we had to stay away from pregnant women if there was any sign of infection. Why? … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 05, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, this article from 1992 is a reminder that many of the issues that concerned Georgians 30 years ago continue to be worrisome today – among them, taxes, education options and politics vs. good policy. It’s no wonder that, nearly 30 years later, these issues remain on the Foundation’s front burner. Quotes of Note “As I’ve said throughout my tenure as governor and secretary of state I think it should be easy to vote and … Continue Reading →

Doing Your Homework on Education Options

The appropriate use of public funds should be a priority for policymakers. But those who object to legislation to provide more education options for Georgia’s children, on the premise that these bills will result in misspent public funds, should do a bit more homework. The example always cited is Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program. A state audit of that program in the 2018 fiscal year found more than $700,000 in funds were misspent by participating parents. That dollar figure not only gets thrown around as if it’s the inevitable … Continue Reading →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: March 2, 2021

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package that passed the U.S. House and awaits Senate action has raised hackles in states that stand to benefit less – because their economies have been open – than states that implemented tough lockdowns. Georgia was among the first to reopen its economy, in April 2020, with Gov. Brian Kemp issuing some sensible direction in his executive orders and resisting the pressure from some local governments to shutter more … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 1, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. States have waiting for Georgia’s innovative Medicaid 1115 waiver to take effect and lead the exodus from ObamaCare. But there’s a new pharaoh in town, and he’s changed his mind about letting Georgia’s people go: Suddenly the thoughtful flexibility Gov. Brian Kemp believed was a done deal to give more low-income Georgians Medicaid coverage is no longer good enough. Yep. The waiver approved by the Trump administration’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: February 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Zell Miller, who was governor of Georgia before becoming U.S. senator for Georgia, died March 23, 2018, at age 86. His birthday would have been February 24, and the privatization and outsourcing policies he implemented were championed by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as one of its first initiatives in 1991. This 1991 editorial by the Atlanta Journal is a reminder of how far Georgia has come – and how important the Foundation’s research continues to be as we celebrate 30 years of policy over politics … Continue Reading →