Category: Commentaries

Maureen Downey’s “Get Schooled” blog on AJC.com published, “Opinion: New study suggests vouchers may help Georgia public schools,” an op-ed by Kyle Wingfield, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, on March 3, 2019. The op-ed is published below. Access the op-ed online at https://www.ajc.com/blog/get-schooled/opinion-new-study-suggests-vouchers-may-help-georgia-public-schools/hnoULPdg9z0XZ2Zgq8HGTN/?. Opinion: New study suggests vouchers may help Georgia public schools Kyle Wingfield, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion columnist, is president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute. In this guest column, Wingfield says legislation in the Georgia House and Senate allowing tax dollars to go toward private school tuition may help public education’s bottom line. Senate Bill 173 passed out of committee Thursday in a 9-3… View Article

Baby Steps in Teacher Pension Reform

By Kyle Wingfield They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The implication is that the first step won’t be the last. That’s the right way to think about House Bill 109, which is intended to address the increasingly worrisome debt for Georgia’s teacher pension system. It’s an initial step toward securing the retirement income promised to our public-school teachers past and present, but it isn’t nearly enough to take the system as far as it needs to go. The bill authored by Rep. Tommy Benton, a Republican from Jefferson and retired teacher, would make a few changes to the pensions of new teachers starting July 1. They wouldn’t be eligible for a pension until… View Article

Heartland Institute Urges Georgia to Address CON Reform

In this Research & Commentary published February 26, 2019, Matthew Glans of the Heartland Institute examines the revived debate in Georgia over the state’s controversial certificate of need program. The commentary is published in full below and can be accessed online here. Georgia  Should Address CON Reform By Matthew Glans Georgia is one of 35 states that institute certificate of need (CON) laws. First passed in the 1960s to deter increasing health care costs, CON laws were supposed to limit duplication and promote health care consolidation. In essence, CON programs require health care providers to receive state approval to increase facilities and services. However, CON laws can also restrict existing providers from expanding services or new providers from entering… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Housing needs, trends and designs change constantly. Through the years, homebuilders have learned to meet the needs, wants and pocketbooks of homebuyers while innovating and adapting to meet changing standards for safety, land use and environmental protection. Now, however, elected officials are changing that dynamic. Local governments are stifling innovation, mandating aesthetics and materials, restricting designs and layouts, all while infringing upon the rights of private property owners. This week (February 20), the Georgia House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee narrowly approved a bill that would prohibit local governments from imposing “architectural ordinances” on new home construction. It must make its way through the Legislature. Consider the enormous differences among the Sears kit home, Craftsman bungalow,… View Article

Case for Incentives Strikes Out

This commentary by John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation, appeared in the Carolina Journal’s August 2018 edition. Read it online here. Case for Incentives Strikes Out By John Hood North Carolina politicians and policy analysts have been arguing for decades about targeted economic incentives. I have my own view on the subject, which I’ll share later in this column, but I think it would be helpful first to describe four very different takes on the issue. The central question is whether North Carolina’s state and local governments ought to try to compete with other jurisdictions across the country in offering targeted tax or cash incentives, either to lure new businesses or to entice current employers to stay… View Article
By Kyle Wingfield Bureaucratic arcana from Washington, D.C., hit Georgia’s headlines this week. Governor Brian Kemp announced he will seek federal “waivers” to improve health care in the state. But what exactly is a “waiver”? In short, it’s a way for the state to escape stifling federal regulations and provide Georgians with meaningful access to health care that’s affordable – and tailored to the needs and opportunities found all across Georgia. To understand why this is true, and how it would work, it’s worth learning a bit about waivers. First of all, what’s being “waived” are some of the strings Washington attaches to the money it sends states to help pay for some people’s health care. In theory, having some… View Article
By Baruch Feigenbaum A recent study, “Access Across America: Transit 2017,” by Andrew Owen and Brendan Murphy of the University of Minnesota, claims that accessibility to jobs by transit increased between 2016 and 2017. The study, which has been conducted for the past three years, has found increasing accessibility to jobs each year. Given declining transit ridership across the country, the study’s results seem surprising. But a closer look at the methodology shows that “accessibility to jobs” has little connection with actual transit ridership. The study estimates accessibility to jobs by transit and walking for each of the United States’ 11 million census blocks in 49 of the 50 largest metro areas (Memphis is excluded due to a… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release February 7, 2019 Contact: Benita Dodd at benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org (404-256-4050) Foundation Named to Global ‘Best Independent Think Tanks’ List Atlanta – For the second consecutive year, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been named one of the world’s “Best Independent Think Tanks” by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. The Foundation joins two sister think tanks in the State Policy Network – the Pacific Research Institute of California and the Texas Public Policy Foundation – as the only three U.S. state free-market think tanks named in the “Best Independent Think Tanks” ranking of the 2018 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report, compiled annually by the program and published last week.   … View Article

2019: Continue a Course of Bold Policies

By Kyle Wingfield A new governor, a new lieutenant governor, a host of new committee chairs – there are numerous reasons the 2019 legislative session is full of intrigue. Add to them Georgia’s growing political competitiveness, the possibility of a national recession sooner rather than later, and some truly important challenges, and there should be plenty of urgency, too. Start with health care. The federal government is stuck: Obamacare clearly isn’t working, but Congress has proved unable to repeal or even improve it. The siren song of Medicaid expansion is back for another chorus, but that’s the wrong answer. It costs too much, would shift a quarter-million Georgians off their private insurance plans, delivers less access to care than beneficiaries… View Article
By Peter Suderman A new poll shows that a clear majority of Americans support Medicare for All – until they are told what it is and how it would work. The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which regularly asks Americans about health policy issues as part of its Health Tracking Poll series. It finds that 56 percent of the country supports a “national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for All” and an even larger percentage – 71 percent – supports the idea when told that it would “guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans.” When told that such a plan would eliminate health insurance premiums, 67 percent say they’re in favor. One way to look… View Article

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.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes