• Friday Facts

Friday Facts: April 08, 2022

It’s Friday! 


Quotes of note

“Personal independence is a virtue…but there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed, it must be developed from within. – Frederick Douglass

“Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say whatever they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.” – Winston Churchill

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain


On Our Desks

You’re invited! Join us in Savannah on April 26 for a policy briefing luncheon at Vic’s on the River! We’ll present findings from our latest study examining the regulatory factors behind rising home prices. The event is open to the public, but registration is required. 

Gold Dome turnover: In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield highlights some notable departures from the General Assembly at the close of this legislative session.

Doing good work: Georgia Policy board member and friend David Allman was highlighted for his work with Opportunity International Nicaragua, where he and his wife, Donna, have spent the past 16 years working to create an ecosystem that lifts a community out of poverty through education and entrepreneurship.

We’re hiring! Georgia Policy has two open positions: Development Associate and Research Fellow. Each of these roles will help our organization grow – one by helping us raise more money, the other by increasing our capacity to gather and publish information. Both positions are perfect for entry-level candidates, so share them with the liberty-minded recent college graduate, or soon-to-be graduate, in your life. 

Keep Georgia Working: Georgia is growing by leaps and bounds! New residents see what the rest of us already know and love about our state – low taxes, a vibrant business climate and plentiful job opportunities. We want to make sure all new residents know that Georgia works thanks to economic freedom, limited government and personal responsibility. Your gift will help us reach more new Georgia residents!


At the Capitol

Sine die: The 2022 legislative session adjourned sine die this week, with the $30.2 billion state budget for the upcoming year among the final items passed. Included in this budget were $2,000 raises for teachers and school workers, $5,000 cost-of-living raises for most state and university employees and a $183 million increase in the state’s mental health budget. 

Flat tax: A bill that would eventually lower the state’s income tax rate to a flat 4.99% passed the House and Senate. The Foundation wrote more about this legislation here.

Lights, camera… A proposed cap of $900 million on the film tax credit failed to clear the Georgia legislature, reports The Atlanta Business Chronicle. Georgia granted over $1 billion in incentives in 2021. 

Mental health: Governor Brian Kemp signed the mental health bill into law after it passed both chambers with unanimous support. 

Tax credits: Legislation passed both the House and Senate that would increase the state’s cap on tax credits for the student scholarship organization from $100 million to $120 million. 

Compensation: In the final hours of the legislative session, bills were passed to compensate 2 wrongly convicted individuals, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dennis Perry would receive $1.23 million for 20 years spent in state custody, and Kerry Robinson would get $480,000 for the 18 years he served. Both men were cleared by DNA evidence. 


Education

Schools out? Fulton County Schools will begin the fall semester in August with more than 14,000 empty desks. School system officials said they blame a lack of affordable housing, an aging population, low birth rates, and the impacts of COVID-19. The Alpharetta Roswell Herald reported that empty space in Fulton County schools is expected to grow in the coming years, with 17,000 open seats projected by the 2026-27 school year.


Healthcare

Urgent care: Wellstar Health System announced the closure of Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South, leaving south Fulton county without an open emergency room. Wellstar AMC will become a 24-hour urgent care center, and patients needing a hospital stay or ER care can be transported to Wellstar AMC in Atlanta. 


Taxation

Through the roof: Cobb County’s tax digest is expected to rise by more than 10 percent this year. According to Chief Appraiser Stephen White, the county has had a nearly $5 billion increase in commercial, residential, and personal property in the county. The predicted 10.49 % rise in the digest marks the first double-digit yearly increase in more than two decades.


Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary.

Have a great weekend. 

Kyle Wingfield

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