Friday Facts: September 8, 2023

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion to legislators last year, Republicans have come under fire for not being up to the task presented by the ruling. Specifically, they’ve been criticized for being unprepared to talk about it in a persuasive manner – after half a century of demanding that the court give them the opportunity.

It might be an unpopular opinion, but I thought the way GOP presidential candidates tussled over abortion in their recent debate represented not only the right way for conservatives to argue about that issue, but a model for other issues.

That is, they ought to sort out which aspects, if any, of the thorniest policy questions ought to be handled federally as opposed to the state level. Because it’s time for those who support limited government, and in particular a federal government limited to its proper role, to support a return to the appropriate division of labor between Washington, D.C., and the states.

Please check out this week’s commentary on how Republican presidential candidates handled the issue of federalism at a recent debate, and how we all should think about it. We also have the latest news and analysis from the last week, including:

– Why business owners in Georgia are still receiving calls to apply for pandemic era funds, three years later

– Atlanta’s decision to reject a charter school for students with special needs

– The impact of Hurricane Idalia on South Georgia farmers

Have a great weekend,

– Kyle Wingfield

A couple of tickets remain!

We are just a few days away from hosting Matthew Continetti in Atlanta and we are down to our last few tickets. Continetti, author of “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism,” will be here on September 12. His work has focused on the development of the Republican Party and the American conservative movement in the 20th century.

We know it will be an interesting and informative luncheon at a beautiful venue with excellent food. Only a couple of tickets remain so get yours now!

Then on October 12, we are hosting the Georgia Housing Summit, where experts explore new approaches to harness innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure housing is attainable for all Georgians. This is a half-day event, filled with practical information on a variety of topics.

Tickets are selling fast so secure your spot today!

Friday’s Freshest

Blame Congress for summer’s aviation problems

The good news is that demand for U.S. air travel has fully recovered from its near collapse during the pandemic. But the bad news is that the system is having trouble coping with surging demand.

Why Georgia business owners must beware messages pitching a COVID-19 tax credit 

If you own a business in Georgia, then you’ve likely received one or more messages promising thousands of dollars of easy money through something called the Employee Retention Credit. Think this one over carefully.

Senate Study Committee holds meeting on Rural Personnel Recruitment

The first meeting of Georgia’s Senate Study Committee on Rural Personnel Recruitment was held Wednesday. Two of the topics that the Foundation has long highlighted, full practice authority for qualified healthcare professionals and Certificate of Need reforms, were among the items discussed.

More Georgia’s cities and counties set property tax rates

Rapidly rising home values are boosting government revenues while increasing property taxes…unless local governments adopt the “rollback rates” that keep taxes the same from the prior year. Here’s a review of recent millage rate decisions from local governments.  

As president embraces “Bidenomics,” Americans still feeling the pinch

Some people are highlighting what they believe – or what they want you to believe – is a contradiction about the economy: Inflation is easing, so why don’t more people feel better about the economy?

The Latest


Idalia hits pecan farmers in South Georgia

Farmers in south Georgia say Hurricane Idalia impacted some of the cotton, corn, and peanut crops. Pecan farmers, they say, took the biggest hit. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper estimated a 50-60% loss of this year’s pecan crop.

Hyundai, LG Energy investing another $2B in Metaplant

Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution are investing another $2 billion in the planned “Metaplant” west of Savannah. The two companies recently announced an expansion of the original $5.5 billion electric vehicles and battery cell manufacturing joint venture, bringing the total investment to nearly $7.6 billion.

Georgia lands another auto parts supplier

A Korean automotive parts company will build a manufacturing plant in Metter to supply Georgia’s Kia facility near LaGrange and the new electric vehicles plant under construction west of Savannah. DAS Corp. will invest more than $35 million in the project, which will create 300 jobs.

Georgia businesses try to fill their openings

Georgia has 350,000 job postings but only about 170,000 unemployed Georgians. State officials routinely highlight Georgia’s low unemployment rate, but that doesn’t address the worker shortage.


Atlanta denies application for charter school serving students with special needs

The Atlanta Board of Education voted this week to deny an application for a charter school focused on students with special needs. The school opened in DeKalb County in 2013 and had hopes of establishing a second school in Atlanta. Atlanta Public Schools has not approved a charter school in over 10 years.

Does school choice affect private school tuition?

Data analysis from the past decade reveals that tuition inflation was lower in states that adopted school choice policies (about 15%, on average) than in states without school choice (about 28%, on average). Moreover, among states that adopted school choice, inflation-adjusted tuition rates decreased after the adoption of school choice.

Hyundai brings STEM program to Effingham Co. middle schools

Hyundai has partnered with Effingham County middle schools to implement a new hydrogen STEM program. The automotive giant hopes to raise awareness about alternative energy sources through the school-based program.

Federal funding didn’t stop pandemic learning loss

Despite receiving record amounts of federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, American schools still failed to prevent dramatic learning loss among students. This is far from surprising. Contrary to popular belief, increased educational funding doesn’t correlate with higher-quality schools.

Government accountability

Statesboro council OKs camera, gate mandates for apartment complexes

The Statesboro City Council enacted an Apartment Security Ordinance requiring security cameras at drives into and out of apartment complexes plus, for larger complexes, either gates or license plate readers. But these rules will only apply to new, resold or extensively renovated properties.

Augusta Commission delays rightsizing plan vote

The Augusta rightsizing plan is delayed again. One of the key elements of the rightsizing plan presented by interim administrator Takiyah Douse would be the creation of a Grounds Maintenance Division out of several existing departments. The commission voted to delay 7-1.


Cobb Planning Commission recommends fewer homes

The Cobb Planning Commission signaled support for a senior housing community in southwest Cobb, though it endorsed fewer homes than requested by the developer. Grace of Georgia Properties came to the commission looking for approval to build 110 homes, but the commission approved just 62.

Rising rents are hitting American suburbs hardest

America’s suburbs are posting the country’s fastest-rising rents, a sign that the recent migration of families from major cities is starting to look more long-term. And now, high mortgage rates and home prices are keeping some of the same families renting for longer periods.


How one man created a multimillion-dollar resale market for Buc-ee’s snacks

During the pandemic, an entrepreneur was craving Buc-ee’s treats and went to their website to satisfy his cravings. He was shocked to discover they don’t sell anything online. A few months later he started a website to resell Buc-ee’s products, at an average markup of 80%. His first month in business he did $161,000 in sales, and the business has only grown since. 

Craft brewers looking for General Assembly to ease restrictions

While craft breweries in Georgia received the freedom to sell their product directly to consumers in limited quantities six years ago, craft brewers say they are still hampered by a system that favors beer wholesalers. The Foundation has previously written how these regulations have stymied the full growth of the craft brewing industry. 

Ag department reforms enforcement

Twenty-nine-year law enforcement and emergency management veteran Harlan Proveaux has been appointed to head the newly reconstituted Law Enforcement Division within the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Proveaux will serve the agency’s Law Enforcement & Emergency Management Division as both director and inspector general.

Quotes of the Week

“I applaud all the people out there that can change their understanding without having a temper tantrum, when they’re presented with information that contradicts their previous beliefs.” – Don Freeman

“There is nothing in this world so permanent as a temporary emergency.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton

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