Quotes of note
“Was not necessity the plea of every illegal exertion of power or exercise of oppression?… Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“You can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
On Our Desks
Time for a change? In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield asks if it’s time to shake up how we do presidential primaries.
We’re hiring! Georgia Policy has an open position for a Research Fellow. This role will help our organization grow by increasing our capacity to gather and publish information. It’s a perfect position for entry-level candidates, so share it with the liberty-minded recent college graduate, or soon-to-be graduate, in your life.
Staying busy: The Port of Savannah had its busiest April on record, handling nearly a half-million 20-foot containers — nearly one of every nine passing through an American port, according to officials at the Georgia Ports Authority. That trade activity — the third-busiest month the port has ever had — came despite gaps in global shipments caused by China’s continued struggle with the coronavirus, an effort that has often roiled manufacturing and transit around the world’s largest port in Shanghai.
Automated: Procter & Gamble is planning to invest $205 million in a new state-of-the-art automated distribution facility in Jackson, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Economic Development. When completed, it will be over one million square feet in size and will create 350 new jobs in Butts County. The company already operates a manufacturing facility in Albany and a distribution center outside of Atlanta.
Timber! Georgia voters will decide whether to exempt timber equipment from property taxes on Nov. 8, according to Ballotpedia News. The measure would exempt any equipment owned by a timber business and used in the production or harvest of timber from ad valorem property taxes.
Useful: A new law requires some Georgia high school students to complete financial literacy courses as a graduation prerequisite. Atlanta-based CBS 46 reports that either 11th- or 12th-graders must earn half a credit in a course that tackles budgeting and credit. About 25 other states already require something similar for their students.
Energy and Environment
Buyer beware: An investigative report by Fox 5 Atlanta revealed deceptive practices by some solar panel salespeople. Homeowner customers were told to expect their power bills to decrease by nearly 100%, but that has not happened in many cases. “Net metering,” which allows the sale of surplus power to the utility companies, is only offered by Georgia Power. This practice is limited to 5,000 homes, and that limit has been reached. The cost of the solar systems was as high as $91,000. That amount is payable over 20 to 25 years.
State Supreme Court Update: The dispute between insurer Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and hospital system Northside has reached the Georgia Supreme Court, reports Capitol Beat. At issue is Anthem’s decision to terminate Northside from its network a year ago, alleging “exorbitant sums” charged over a period of years. Northside filed a lawsuit in December resulting in an injunction against Anthem, citing a 2021 Georgia law prohibiting insurers from dropping providers during and for 150 days after a “public health emergency.”
Hot market: Several months of increased mortgage rates may be pushing some people out of the housing market, but the balance between buyers and sellers hasn’t changed enough yet to cool the rapid rise in prices in metro Atlanta, according to several reports.
Have a great weekend.
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