Here we go again.
For months, advocates for more taxpayer-funded healthcare have warned of a looming drop in Medicaid coverage. They blamed this on the official end of the COVID-19 “public health emergency” and associated relief funds.
But as I pointed out earlier this year, the real issue is that millions of people have been receiving a taxpayer-funded benefit for which they no longer qualify. That’s because the relief funds in question were contingent on states not asking Medicaid enrollees whether they were still eligible for the program. The end of the public health emergency meant that states would resume doing what they had done for the first 50-plus years of Medicaid.
This is not merely a cost-cutting matter. When people receive benefits they’re not supposed to get, that leaves less money for everything else the government does. And because Medicaid is a joint program between states and the federal government, and states have to balance their budgets, that means less money for schools, roads, parks, state troopers … the list goes on.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones recently announced that new state Senate study committees will examine whether and how to reform Certificate of Need (CON) laws, occupational licensing, and state tax credits, including those for film. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation recently interviewed Jones about those topics as well as Education Savings Accounts as the first in an occasional series with high-ranking state officials.
The Georgia General Assembly’s Joint Tax Credit Review Panel recently held its first meeting. This review will include the film tax credit that has made Georgia a destination for movie-making at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $900 million last year.
Atlanta brewery closes, Georgia’s prohibition era laws partly to blame
“Had we had more advantageous laws we would have more flexibility to grow organically and have multiple revenue streams to stay afloat.” Those are the words of Jason Santamaria, co-founder of Second Self Beer Company, which recently announced it was closing.
The Georgia Public Defender Council recently hired a marketing agency to promote their organization. Since then, the Council has posted on its Facebook page about International Jugglers Day, National Golfers Day and Caramel Popcorn Day. That story, and more, in our monthly review of stories about waste, fraud and abuse.
Chris Denson, Director of Policy and Research at Georgia Public Policy Foundation, provided testimony to senators in favor of CON reform.
In the News
“The Georgia Public Policy Foundation welcomes the General Assembly’s review of tax credits,” Kyle Wingfield, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We believe there is much room in Georgia’s tax code to broaden the base and lower tax rates for all, and that doing so will help ensure Georgia remains a highly competitive state and grows in prosperity.”
Georgia’s unemployment rate rose slightly last month to 3.2% after holding steady at 3.1% for the previous nine months. Still, the Peach State’s jobless rate in May was half a percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7%
Airplane engine maker Pratt & Whitney will invest more than $200 million to expand its engine overhaul center in Georgia, hiring 400 new workers. The company currently has about 2,000 employees at two locations in Columbus, which have operated since 1984.
The ubiquity and widespread acceptance of homeschooling as a valid educational option for American families can obscure the fact that homeschooling freedoms were hard-fought. In reality, homeschooling didn’t become legally recognized in all U.S. states until the 1990s.
The COVID-19 epidemic and the disastrous school shutdowns that accompanied it, which the teachers unions insisted upon, inadvertently advanced the cause of education reform.
Home prices were unaffected by a ban on buy-to-rent housing in the Netherlands, but more affordable rental housing disappeared. Meanwhile, several municipalities in suburban Atlanta have gone so far as to ban build-to-rent housing or otherwise subject it to stricter regulation. The Foundation has previously written why this provides a good option for consumers.
Building is underway for Marietta’s first house under the city’s Public Service Housing Program. The city teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing for municipal employees.
A plan to add toll lanes along Georgia 400 in Fulton and Forsyth counties is being delayed by about four months after one of three contractor finalists dropped out of consideration. Express 400 Partners withdrew from the selection process last month, leaving two consortiums – Georgia Express Link Partners and SR 400 Peach Partners – still vying for the work.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has selected two finalists to redesign the interchange of interstates 285 and 20 west of Atlanta. Legacy Infrastructure Contractors and West Perimeter Contractors were short-listed for the project last month.
Quotes of the Week
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain
“A sign of intelligence is an awareness of one’s own ignorance.” – Niccolo Machiavelli
“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” – Calvin Coolidge