• Friday Facts

Friday Facts: April 22, 2022

It’s Friday! 


Quotes of note

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein


On Our Desks

You’re invited! Join us in Savannah on April 26 and Atlanta on May 11 for a policy briefing luncheon! We’ll present findings from our latest study examining the regulatory factors behind rising home prices. The events are open to the public, but registration is required.

Hiding in plain sight: In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield explores the worst hidden tax of all: inflation.

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. 


Economy

Burning out his fuse up here alone: Officials in Camden County still want to build a launch pad for commercial rockets. They voted again recently to purchase land for the project, barely a month after 72% of county voters supported halting the project by overruling commissioners’ prior vote to buy land for the proposed Spaceport Camden. The proposed spaceport has been the subject of debate, and millions of tax dollars, for the past decade. Source: ABC News

Grounded: The OneGeorgia Authority has approved a $2.3 million Rural Innovation Grant to help convert the closed St. Marys airport into an industrial park, according to The Center Square. The airport was closed after 9/11 because of its proximity to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The estimated $38 million capital investment is scheduled for completion by June 2023.


Taxation

Here we go again: Fulton County officials might impose another tax increase upon county residents, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Wellstar Health System earlier this month announced plans to convert its Atlanta Medical Center South into a 24-hour urgent care clinic, closing the emergency department and inpatient beds. County officials and Grady Health System representatives said they want to continue providing for emergency and hospitalization needs in the underserved south county area. One way to finance that involves raising the amount of money that county taxpayers provide to Grady, which is a nonprofit. 


Education

Charter rules: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and 16 other governors have asked the Biden administration to remove a proposed rule limiting charter school creation, according to The Henry Herald.  The rule would require that new charter schools demonstrate sufficient demand for the proposed school. “The governors believe that means a relevant school district would have to be ‘over-enrolled’ for a charter school to be able to apply for federal funding,” the newspaper reported. 

Sinking like a stone: It’s Georgia Milestones time again. The 2022 edition of the test benchmarking school performance will set a new baseline for student achievements after the test was canceled in 2020 and saw lackluster participation in 2021. Districts are expecting “lower achievement results this spring than in pre-pandemic years.”


Healthcare

Hospital replacement: The Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed replacing four major hospitals in Georgia in addition to others throughout the Southeast, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A long list of problems, including the months-long closure of surgical suites at the metro Atlanta  hospital located in Decatur in 2019 and early 2020, prompted the measure. The cost is estimated at $56 billion, including land, buildings, equipment and operations for the next 30 years. The VA’s Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission’s report will go to Congress in January. 

Testing, testing: A bill to make fentanyl test strips more widely available awaits the signature or veto of Governor Brian Kemp, reports the Georgia Recorder. If the governor does nothing by May 14, the bill would automatically take effect. Fentanyl is found in many illicit drugs, particularly in heroin, and the incidence of fentanyl overdose deaths rose by 106% between May 2020 and April 2021 according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The bill would remove the test strips from the list of drug paraphernalia.


Energy and Environment

Whale, whale, whale…: After a poor calving season, the future of right whales may be in jeopardy. The endangered whales only breed off of the Georgia coast, and scientists estimate that there are fewer than 350 of the animals left on the planet. A decline in the whales’ food supply and deaths due to rope entanglements or collisions with fishing vessels are among the leading reasons for the whales’ population decline.


Have a great weekend. 

Kyle Wingfield

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