Friday Facts: August 11, 2023

Those who even casually follow Georgia politics know that the 2023 legislative session was a contentious and tumultuous one for education policy. Specifically, Senate Bill 233 (“The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act”) drew impassioned arguments and divided House Republicans, even after passing the Senate with every Republican voting yes.

SB 233 was hailed by supporters as an important step toward school choice, providing Georgia’s parents and students with more options and greater purchasing power. The bill was voted down in the House, as 16 Republicans voted against it before it was ultimately reconsidered to preserve its chances for passage in 2024.

This makes a tweet, er, whatever those are called these days, by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) claiming that “Georgia Republicans have made school choice a top priority!” rather bizarre. 

Please check out this week’s commentary that looks at the state of school choice in Georgia. We also have:

Information on our Georgia Housing Summit in October, with special early-bird pricing for those who act quickly

Tickets to our luncheon with author Matthew Continetti in September. Ticket quantity is low!

– The latest news and analysis from the past week

Our current job openings at the Foundation 

Have a great weekend,

– Kyle Wingfield


Everyone knows housing prices are out of reach for many Georgia families, but there are few agreed-upon solutions. Join us as we explore new approaches to harness innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure housing is attainable for all Georgians. And you can save big when you buy an early bird ticket before September 1!

And don’t forget about our luncheon on September 12 with Matthew Continetti, author of “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism.” Get your tickets now.

Friday’s Freshest

Hollywood’s on strike, but will that impact Georgia?

The ripple effects of Hollywood’s writers and actors strikes have reached Georgia, but just how far-reaching are they? And will the strikes, for instance, influence state legislators to alter Georgia’s film tax credit?

Vogtle Unit 3 is first new nuclear power plant to open in decades

With a simple press release, Georgia Power announced that the third nuclear reactor at its Plant Vogtle near Augusta had begun commercial operation. This represents Georgia’s first substantial “bump” in electric power generation in some time.

How could CNBC’s “Best places to live and work” list be so wrong?

CNBC hilariously released a “Best places to live and work” ranking that is wildly out of step with reality. The 10 “best” states saw around 170,000 residents leave for greener pastures last year. The 10 “worst” states welcomed around 750,000 residents from other states during the same time period.

Georgians brace for higher property taxes 

Rapidly rising home values are boosting government revenues while increasing property taxes…unless local governments adopt the “rollback rates” that keep taxes the same from the prior year. We review what those local governments in Georgia have decided. 

We’re Hiring

Education Policy Analyst

We are looking for an Education Policy Analyst who will manage all aspects of Foundation policy related to K-12 education.

Communications Manager

We are looking for a Communications Manager who is a talented writer and will help elevate the brand of the Foundation.

The Latest


Kemp calls for ‘even playing field’ in state’s civil litigation laws

Gov. Brian Kemp made it clear this week that his legislative priorities in 2024 will include an overhaul of the state’s tort laws. Tort covers civil litigation in areas including medical malpractice, accidents and contracts. It hasn’t been legislatively addressed in Georgia since 2004.

Study: University System of Georgia contributes more than $20 billion to economy

The University System of Georgia delivered an economic impact of $20.1 billion in fiscal 2022, up $800 million, or 4.14%, over the previous year, system Chancellor Sonny Perdue announced this week.

Korean construction materials manufacturer coming to Georgia

A Korean manufacturer of construction materials will build its first U.S. plant in Georgia, Gov. Kemp recently announced. Duckshin Housing will invest more than $15 million in a plant in Athens that is expected to create more than 100 jobs.


Atlanta Board approves interim superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools

The Atlanta Board of Education voted to approve Dr. Danille Battle as interim superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. Battle is expected to immediately begin a temporary consulting role prior to stepping into the interim superintendent position on Sept. 1.

Georgia Council aims to improve state’s literacy rates

Organizers of the Georgia Council on Literacy say Georgia’s graduation rates may have risen, but literacy rates have actually fallen. They hope this group, which combines lawmakers with local district leaders from around the state and child development experts, can correct the problem. 

Biden’s latest student loan cancellation plan blocked

On Monday a federal appeals court blocked President Biden’s administration from implementing rules aimed at providing debt relief to student loan borrowers who were misled by their colleges. The ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest defeat for Biden’s efforts to forgive student loans across the country. 

Government accountability

State Senate to target teenage social media use, cyberbullying

The Georgia Senate will take up legislation aimed at protecting teenagers from cyberbullying and other negative effects of social media use. The proposed legislation, still in development, would require social media companies to take concrete steps to verify the age of their users.

Atlanta lawmakers approve surveillance cams at all gas stations

A new Atlanta ordinance mandates Atlanta convenience stores have continuous high-quality video recording of all gas pumps, and that the stores immediately alert and turn over that video to police after any actual or suspected crime. The stores would also have to have a working backup system in operation.

Bryan Co. introduces first draft of short-term vacation rental ordinance

Bryan County introduced the first draft of a short-term vacation rental ordinance, something the county has never had before. The county says this ordinance will help keep track of rental properties and make sure they can locate the owners if any complaints are made.


Cruise now testing self-driving cars in Atlanta

For the moment, there’s still a driver at the wheel, but San Francisco-based Cruise has begun testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta. Cruise officials say their vehicles have logged more than 3 million driverless miles and completed tens of thousands of rides. Among the accomplishments have been 35,000 driverless deliveries in Phoenix, according to the company.

State to probe potential of hydrogen fueling stations

Georgia has begun exploring the potential of deploying a network of hydrogen fueling stations across the state to power commercial vehicles. Hydrogen-powered electric fuel cells could be used for fast recharging of heavy vehicles, enabling goods to be delivered over long travel distances.

Georgia awards $2 billion for transportation projects in 2023

The Georgia Department of Transportation said the agency awarded $172.6 million for 27 road projects across the state in June. According to state transportation officials, reconstruction projects represented 35% of the funds awarded in June.


Oregon lifts ban on self-serve gas, leaving New Jersey as the only state prohibiting it

For the first time in more than seven decades, drivers in Oregon are allowed to pump their own gas. The new law, which takes effect immediately, leaves New Jersey as the only state that prohibits self-service gas stations.

How Yellow’s downfall is rippling through the economy

Yellow was a $5.2 billion business as recently as last year when it moved around 50,000 shipments a day in a trucking network that made it a fundamental part of the supply chains of hundreds of U.S. companies. But the rapid wind-down of its business last month was capped by the closure of all operations and a bankruptcy filing in recent days.

Quotes of the Week

“I’m proud to be a Southerner. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times; I’m an American by birth but I’m Southern by the grace of God.” – Lewis Grizzard

“The mind that opens up to a new idea never returns to its original size.” – Albert Einstein

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

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