We all might like a haunted house or scary movie for Halloween. But there are some policy ideas that should be received as warmly as an overnight stay at the Bates Motel, or that neighbor who gave you pencils or rulers when you went trick-or-treating.
The scary part? These ideas aren’t like candy corn. Once they’re law, you can’t just throw them into the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake. Some are ideas from other states. Some are on the books here in Georgia.
Just in time for Halloween, we outline 11 spooky policy ideas – from banning gas-powered vehicles to blocking high-quality charter schools – we should all run from like a man in a mask is chasing us.
I hope you will check out this week’s commentary on the spookiest policy ideas we all need to avoid. We also have the latest news and analysis from the last week, including:
- Georgia joins a bi-partisan lawsuit against Facebook alleging the company designed and deployed harmful features to addict minors
- Cobb County decides not to pass a resolution offering support for Israel condemning Hamas
- The U.S. housing market needs more than a million additional homes to better meet demand, industry experts say
- Daechang Seat Corp. USA becomes the latest auto supplier to say it will call Savannah home
Have a great weekend,
– Kyle Wingfield
2023 was the third straight fiscal year that Washington has run historically abnormal deficits while Georgia and most other states ran historically abnormal surpluses. One might chalk up this vast gulf to simple competence, and it’d be hard to argue. But there’s another, more boring explanation: State governments have to balance their budgets; the feds do not.
How can we bring housing affordability to Georgia? A panel of elected officials — Rep. Dale Washburn, Rep. Spencer Frye, Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson and Woodstock Mayor Michael Caldwell — talked policy ideas at the 2023 Georgia Housing Summit.
We cannot assume the future is a given any more than we can treat the past as past. We cannot pocket gains of liberty or even decency, treating them as permanent. They must be re-established, re-endorsed and re-confirmed.
North Carolina joins Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee among the states bordering Georgia that offer education choice opportunities for students and families.
In The News
“I think if we are to assess the program two, three, four years from now, it will not so much be the number of beneficiaries who are enrolled but those that have successfully graduated from the program,” said Denson with the conservative-leaning Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
“And I do hope the state will track that number, because to us the biggest incentive for supporting this program is that, ultimately, we’re providing a pathway for able-bodied, low-income individuals to gain access to health care, but we just don’t feel that Medicaid is the best long-term solution for providing health care access.”
Education freedom allows parents to choose the right educational setting for their child.
For a $400,000 home, on average, $107,600 is due to the cost of government regulation.
Another auto supplier is set to call Savannah home. Daechang Seat Corp. USA, an automotive supplier specializing in seat frames, is coming to the Savannah Chatham Manufacturing Center. The company will invest $72.5 million and create over 500 jobs. This is the third supplier to plant roots in Chatham County.
Georgia Power is expanding its coal ash beneficial reuse program to Plant Branch near Milledgeville, the Atlanta-based utility announced. Working in partnership with Eco Material Technologies, Georgia Power expects to start construction later this year on an ash processing facility at Plant Branch, a coal-fired power plant the company retired in 2015.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is partnering with nonprofit Funding for the Future to bring a financial literacy program to more than 5,000 students across the state. Funding the Future is a nationwide financial literacy effort hoping to develop the next generation entering the workforce.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners delayed passing a resolution condemning Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and offering unequivocal support for Israel after extended discussion at its meeting Tuesday evening. After the vote, Commissioner Keli Gambrill clarified the board would engage more community members in attempting to draft a revised resolution that addresses the war.
The Georgia Craft Brewers Guild has been pushing lawmakers for years to loosen restrictions on how breweries can sell their products. Current Georgia law limits breweries to selling their product on their property directly to customers. To sell it somewhere else, it has to go through a distributor, something that isn’t profitable for smaller breweries.
After scammers made off with billions of dollars in pandemic-era emergency loans that were supposed to go to small businesses, the federal agency responsible for running that program is now giving up on getting many borrowers to repay what they owe.
In 2010, there were 3,585,450 homes in Georgia. By 2020, there were 3,908,638 homes. In terms of home ownership, the total rate of homeowners in Georgia in 2020 was 64.7% — a slight decrease from the 65.7% homeownership rate from 2010. That rate also decreased from 2000′s 67.5%. In 2000, the homeownership rate increased from 1990′s 65%.
More than a million additional homes need to enter the U.S. housing market to better meet demand and reduce the upward pressure on housing prices. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the current inventory of existing homes sits at 1.1 million, down from the 1.8 million reported during the same month in pre-COVID 2019.
Last week, Georgia’s Housing Choice Voucher Program opened its application portal for the first time since 2021. More than 125,000 people had already applied by the next afternoon. A lottery system will be used to select those approved for funding assistance.
MARTA is making it easier to pay for your ride with new ways to collect train and bus fares. They plan to install new automated collection systems at all 38 rail stations over the next five years. The upgrade will allow passengers to pay with debit cards, credit cards, and mobile wallets.
The Georgia Department of Transportation approved more than $5.4 million to rehabilitate the taxiway and runway construction at the Columbus Airport. The money is from the fiscal 2024 Airport Aid Program. Additionally, GDOT announced a contract with the city of Montezuma to build a tarmac at the Dr. C.P. Savage Sr. Airport.
A new Chatham Area microtransit program is promising riders an eco-friendly way to get around. With this new microtransit service, riders in certain areas of Chatham County will be able to hail a ride on one of these electric vans using their phones. Riders will be able to call or schedule a ride on an app to get around these zones in battery powered vans.
Major League Baseball fundamentally reshaped its rules this season in a drastic effort to improve the product on the field and attract younger generations of fans who had abandoned the sport. But the playoff changes resulted in two teams, the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, that lack big-name stars and have a combined regular-season winning percentage that is the lowest of any World Series combatants ever.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently stayed a preliminary injunction aimed at preventing federal officials from unconstitutionally interfering with content moderation decisions by social media platforms. At the same time, the Court agreed to decide the merits of the case, Murthy v. Missouri, during its current term.
Lt. Gov. Burt Jones was in Bulloch County this week to meet with local farmers about the threats the agricultural community is currently facing. There are two things that are certain in Georgia right now, agriculture and developmental growth. They don’t quite go hand and hand, and that’s what farmers are concerned about.
Quotes of the Week
“A mask tells us more than a face.” – Oscar Wilde
“Halloween is the only time people can become what they want to be without getting fired.” – Sylvester Stallone
“Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.” – Mason Cooley