Friday Facts: June 2, 2023

Among the dozen plus bills that Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed after the 2023 legislative session, one piece of legislation would have provided nearly 500,000 state employees with the opportunity to utilize health savings accounts, commonly referred to as HSAs. 

HSAs function like a debit card to use pre-tax dollars for health expenditures such as deductibles and copayments, but plans also cover “everyday” medical needs such as ibuprofen or allergy medicine. They even cover qualified long-term care services for those planning for retirement. These funds not only roll over from year to year, but are personal accounts and completely transfer with the individual, even after a change in jobs. 

The Foundation has long championed HSAs as one path to greater financial security and individual choice in healthcare. 

So why was this bill vetoed after near unanimous passage out of the General Assembly?

Read In Defense of HSAs

Friday’s Freshest

Washington remains a long way from fiscal sanity

Even with a debt-ceiling agreement, Washington is still a long way from fiscal sanity. Meanwhile, states like Georgia not only balance their budgets, but spend less than they could.

Are three Georgia cities still guilty of taxation by citation?

Between 2012 and 2016, Clarkston, in DeKalb County, generated 25% of its revenue from fines and fees. Today, it’s less than 4%. But what about other Georgia cities that were cited by a 2019 report for relying too heavily on citations for revenue?

Education is going to change

Education is going to change. It has to change. The falling test scores, the burned-out teachers – every sign points in that direction. It was changing before Covid. Now it’s just changing faster.

📺 WATCH: The future of education will look different

CON laws do not help underserved populations

Of all the stated policy goals, the stated aim of aiding underserved populations is especially perplexing. Results matter more than good intentions. And the good intentions have not produced good results.

The Latest


Hyundai and LG announce plant to build batteries for electric vehicles in Georgia

Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution announced Thursday they will build a $4.3 billion electric battery plant as part of Hyundai’s new electric vehicle assembly plant in southeast Georgia. The companies will split the investment, starting production as soon as late 2025.

Tourism industry leaders predict strong summer season

The number of visitors to Georgia in 2021 rose again to nearly 160 million, up from 151.8 million two years ago. Also in 2021, the state’s tourism industry matched the $4.2 billion in state and local tax revenues it generated in 2019.


Medical College of Georgia expanding into Savannah

The Medical College of Georgia is expanding to Savannah, making it one of the largest in the nation. Students will live and learn on Georgia Southern’s Armstrong campus. Then, they’ll move to St. Joseph’s/ Candler Hospital to get real-world experience.

Support for school choice policies remains strong

Nearly four in five parents support ESAs, while roughly three in four parents support vouchers, charter schools, and open enrollment. Both Democrat and Republican respondents show strong support for ESAs (72% for each). The same results apply to both rural and urban respondents.

Government accountability

SCOTUS ruling restores property rights, closes spigot on Clean Water Act abuses

The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified one of the most basic questions in environmental law: what waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act? For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have claimed that almost every bit of domestic water imaginable is federally regulated.

Georgia Supreme Court throws out law requiring lactation consultants to be licensed

The Georgia Supreme Court has declared the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act unconstitutional. Under the act, lactation consultants could only be paid for their services if they received a state license.

Georgia House committee to debate cyber security

A Georgia House committee will soon debate cyber security enhancements for state agencies.


Home prices jump again in March amid low supply, competitive market

Home prices rose for the second straight month in March as buyers confronted steep competition and limited inventory. Prices increased 0.7% nationally in the period from February to March, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed. On an annual basis, prices are down just 3.6% from their peak in June 2022, according to the index.

How do property taxes in Georgia compare to other states?

Georgia’s property tax burden is middle-of-the-pack nationally, but ahead of neighbors South Carolina and Tennessee. That is according to the Tax Foundation’s 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index. 

Don’t buy the social housing hype

Cities become affordable when they build a lot of housing, not when they subsidize it.

Quotes of the Week

“A broader reading of history shows that appeasement, no matter how it is labeled, never fulfills the hopes of the appeasers.” – Ronald Reagan

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“If you would learn what the human race really is at the bottom, we need only observe it in election times.” – Mark Twain

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