Friday Facts: June 9, 2023

Atlanta’s taxicab industry is worried about its future. You can imagine the concern: Among other challenges, since the city last set fares for cab drivers 18 years ago an entirely new service called ride-sharing was created. The subsequent competition has taken a huge toll on cabs. So, city officials listened and gave the taxicab industry what it wanted.

What did it want? Higher fares. Why? So taxis could, as one news report put it, “match the growing popularity of ride shares.”

Maybe it’s just me, but the reason I rarely consider taking a taxi anymore is certainly not because it would save me too much money. 

This is a classic example of a protected industry that faced disruption and, instead of adapting to meet the challenge, has reacted as if the problem is its customers, its competitors, its regulators – anyone but itself.

Ride-sharing exists because of this attitude.

Friday’s Freshest

Why do we have so few providers in healthcare?

Access to healthcare remains one of America’s most debated topics. As with so many other topics, the debate tends to focus on symptoms rather than the root cause of the problem.

📺 WATCH: How Georgia’s Certificate of Need laws limit access to healthcare

Georgia’s CON pits the powerful against rural healthcare needs

Georgia’s CON laws have prevented a local community in Southwest Georgia from opening a healthcare facility in their county. 

Washington remains a long way from fiscal sanity

Even with the new agreement on the debt-ceiling, Washington’s problem with spending will remain. 

Will we see occupational licensing reform in 2024?

Georgia has made progress in easing the regulatory burden to work, but it still has much room for improvement. 

📺 WATCH: Why universal licensing is good for workers and the state

In the News

The Center Square: Georgia’s certificate of need reform conversation only heating up

A new Georgia Public Policy Foundation report, authored by Chris Denson, Director of Policy and Research for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Matthew Mitchell, a Senior Research Fellow at the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at West Virginia University, found that regulations have resulted in diminished availability of health care services and higher costs.

Capitol Beat: Georgia Senate to revisit certificate of need law

The Senate Study Committee on Certificate of Need Reform is poised to start its work earlier than most legislative study committees, which typically don’t start meeting until well into the summer. “It definitely shows the importance of the issue, especially to the Senate,” said Chris Denson, Director of Policy and Research for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

The Latest


President Biden signs debt ceiling bill into law

President Joe Biden signed the debt ceiling bill into law on Saturday a week after reaching a deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. One notable change from the deal is that it will end the COVID-19-era pause in repaying student loans in late August.

‘Great migration’ continues

A growing number of Americans are migrating from states with steep taxes like California and New York to red states with lower taxes including Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Idaho and Georgia. This is according to a Bank of America analyst note based on aggregated and anonymous internal customer data.

Finnish company picks Ware County for first U.S. manufacturing facility

A company specializing in industrialized manufacturing of buildings and homes plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Ware County. ADMARES, which is from Turku, Finland, is relocating its headquarters to the U.S. and expects to create more than 1,400 jobs.


Opening doors for school choice

In the past few years, educational choice has been on a roll. There’s broad public support nationally and state legislatures have been adding and expanding school choice programs at an impressive clip—with multiple states adopting education savings accounts that offer a vision of universal choice that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago. 

Forsyth County Schools plans to lower tax rate following first budget hearing

Forsyth County Schools plans to further roll back its millage rate after hearing from local residents concerned with rising property taxes at the Board of Education’s first budget hearing Wednesday morning.

Flaws found in weapons detection system in metro Atlanta schools

A new investigation has uncovered flaws in the weapons detection system, known as Evolv, currently being used in Atlanta Public Schools. A 2021 test of the system found that it failed to detect four out of every 10 knives. Even so, the school district says they are pleased with the system.

Government accountability

Atlanta City Council approves taxi fare increases

The Atlanta City Council has voted to raise taxi fares. The new ordinance will increase taxi rates by approximately 20% across the board, especially when going to and from the airport. The city says the changes are an effort to match the growing popularity of ride shares.

Georgia Composite Medical Board failed to progress on some audit findings

While the Georgia Composite Medical Board has addressed some shortcomings uncovered in a November 2020 audit, the agency has not progressed on others, including performing mandatory background checks for general physician licensure applicants.

Lawmakers dig deeper into impact of Wellstar hospital closures in Fulton County

Georgia state and local leaders are getting a clearer look at the impact of the closure of two hospitals in metro Atlanta. Wellstar Health System officials came under fire this week for a seeming about-face in finances.


Gwinnett leaders will unveil draft plans for transportation, transit improvements

Gwinnett officials have been working since last year to update the plans, which look at transit, road, multi-use path, sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure across the county and chart out future improvements. The purpose is to  integrate Gwinnett’s transportation network most advantageously with the rest of the metro Atlanta region and to address regional growth.

ATL board OKs contract for planning Top End transit

The board of Atlanta’s regional transit agency gave the go-ahead Thursday to a contract with an engineering consultant to design the addition of mass transit to the top end of Interstate 285.

Some big changes may be ahead for Roswell with new proposal

Roswell leaders have decided to create a task force to study the proposed closure of Canton Street to vehicular traffic. The idea has rankled many business owners, who say the city should first build a parking deck and make other preparations before shutting down the street.

Quotes of the Week

“Some of the best advice I’ve been given: Don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice.” – Morgan Freeman

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” – F. Matthias Alexander

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