• Friday Facts

Friday Facts: February 17th, 2012

It’s Friday!

Events
 Monday is the deadline to register for the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday, February 22, at 8 a.m. Rod S. Martin, co-founder of PayPal and an education philanthropist, keynotes the event at the Georgian Club. The topic is, “Education, Entrepreneurship, and How Technology is Transforming the World by Transforming Both.” The cost is $25 to attend this event. For more information and to register, go to http://tinyurl.com/7qabyqr.

Quotes of note
– “Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.” – Ronald Reagan
– 
“Money dissolves skin color on contact. The fact that Silicon Valley, the freest market in the world, has produced the United Colors of Geek proves it.” – Dan Gardner

Criminal justice reform
– Right on Crime: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation on Thursday announced the release of its Issue Analysis on criminal justice reform, “Peach State Criminal Justice: Controlling Costs, Protecting the Public.” The Issue Analysis, by Marc Levin and Vikrant Reddy, reviews the recommendations made by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians and discusses how commonsense adjustments to the criminal justice system have assisted other states in ensuring public safety, holding offenders accountable and controlling corrections costs. Read the Issue Analysis at www.georgiapolicy.org/pub/Crime/IACriminalJustice.pdf.
– Crime doesn’t pay, but criminal justice reform does: 
Writing in the Carroll Star-News this month, Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Hamrick reinforces, “It is necessary for our state to move nonviolent offenders out from behind bars and focus on true rehabilitation rather than just carrying out sentences. By revising our current probation and supervision process into one that removes low-risk offenders who have met all obligations, we will be able to shift our resources towards higher risk offenders. The ultimate goal is to transform these individuals into active, contributing members of society. Georgia needs to act on solutions that acknowledge positive progression with low-risk prisoners without compromising public safety in order to control costs.”

Taxes and spending
 Cutting taxes reaps benefits: Over the past decade, tax revenue in the nine states with the highest tax rates has increased by an average of 62 percent, exactly half that of the states with no income tax, according to “Rich States, Poor States,” published by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Source: alec.org

Education
– EduFact: Georgia’s charter schools are proving more than adequate, despite ongoing bureaucratic resistance. On Wednesday, the state Board of Education learned that four-fifths (83 percent) of Georgia’s first-year charter schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Not only that, but of the 148 charter schools with AYP designations (including charter system schools), 62 percent made AYP even though the school district did not. In only 8 percent of the cases did both the school and the district make AYP. Read the full charter schools report here: www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Charter-Schools/Pages/Annual-Reports.aspx.

Social media
– This Week in The Forum: Government-funded boondoggles aren’t just a federal problem. Read my entry in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, which has a specific focus on modern telecommunications networks. Local government investment should be the last resort and customers should pay market rates in order to not deter future private investment. Read excerpts from a Foundation commentary published over a decade ago, which explained why Georgia should protect taxpayers from such activity, athttp://207.57.255.197/forum/?p=1897. Two state House resolutions – HR 1162 and HR 1335 – have been offered to address charter schools’ alternative authorization and funding. Find out how they are similar and how they are different. The Foundation also released a companion video that discusses the state school funding formula. Next month the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three days of arguments on the constitutionality of the federal health care law. In Checking Up on Health, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd wrote about briefs filed by the Tax Foundation, Cato Institute and Goldwater Institute. Forum Editor Mike Klein discussed a coalition’s work on a new health insurance strategy for Georgia that could be ready if the Supreme Court does overturn the federal law. Read these articles and more at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.
– Be our Facebook friend! Join the more than 1,500 Foundation supporters who”Like” the Foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy.

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Georgia’s Transit Dreams, Transportation Nightmares,” by Benita M. Dodd.

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