Tag: Institute for Justice

Opportunity’s Knocking Hard at Georgia’s Door

By Benita M. Dodd Six years after the economic downturn, the job market for able-bodied adults in Georgia remains one of the worst in the nation, according to recent figures. The challenge is not insurmountable, but strengthening the job market and Georgia’s economy requires the buy-in of this state’s policy-makers. Georgia has experienced the second-largest decline in the nation in the employment rate for 25- to 54-year-olds – the prime working years – the Pew Center reports. Today, there are 5.4 fewer working 25- to 54-year-olds out of every 100 than there were in 2007. Only New Mexico beat out Georgia for last place. Add to that the startling numbers that led to Georgia’s slate of criminal justice reforms:… View Article

Savannah Tour Guides Sue to End Licensing Requirement

“We shouldn’t need a license to tell a story” The Institute for Justice and a coalition of current and would-be Savannah tour guides have filed a federal lawsuit over the city’s  licensing requirement. Below is the Institute’s news release: Savannah, Ga. – Tour guides are storytellers, and in America, you shouldn’t need a license to tell a story. But the city of Savannah disagrees, imposing a host of regulatory burdens on people who want to talk to paying tour groups. That’s why, today, a coalition of current and would-be Savannah tour guides has joined forces with the Institute for Justice to file a federal lawsuit seeking to vindicate an important First Amendment principle: The government cannot require a license to… View Article

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Gets a Facelift

By Mike Klein Georgia civil forfeiture reform legislation has undergone a cosmetic facelift that might improve its chances for passage but critics are already focused on language which states “an acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding shall not preclude civil forfeiture proceedings.” In effect, you could be found innocent in court but you could still lose your personal property. An HB 1 substitute was published Tuesday afternoon after the first meeting of the House Judiciary committee chaired by Rep. Wendell Willard who is the bill’s primary sponsor.  The new bill makes significant concessions to prosecutors and sheriffs who essentially shut down civil forfeiture reform effort last year with their strong opposition to proposed reforms. Civil forfeiture is the concept… View Article

News Release: Mayor Reed, Tear Down This Fence!

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release October 15, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Mayor Reed, Tear Down This Fence! Atlanta – Just one week ago, the Fulton County Superior Court ordered the city of Atlanta to “accept, review and process” permits to street vendors, putting an end to nine months in which vendors were targeted by the city after a 2012 court ruling struck down as unconstitutional the city’s vending monopoly. No sooner did the vendors win the battle than it was discovered the city had some temporary concrete pots removed from the area of Five Points – where the vendors sold – and replaced with a fence permanently planted in the ground, “erecting a Berlin Wall of… View Article
By Mike Klein Each year Georgia law enforcement seizes millions of dollars in personal property from people who were never charged with or convicted of a crime.  There was merely the suspicion that a crime had been committed, and that the property might somehow be connected to the crime that never happened. The story gets worse for property owners.  Georgia state law permits law enforcement agencies to sell the property and keep the proceeds.  The exact annual dollar value of these seizures and sales is unknown because law enforcement agencies have largely failed to file required reports. This is what the Institute for Justice  (IJ) said about Georgia civil asset forfeiture policies in a new report released Wednesday: “Georgia’s civil… View Article
Atlanta resident Josiah Neff is so passionate about civil asset forfeiture reform in Georgia that last year he filed suit. One of five plaintiffs in a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Fulton County, the software company employee was outraged that the agencies didn’t even bother to comply with state law requiring them to disclose the private property they seized under suspicion that it was used or involved in criminal activity. Three months later, when the suit went to trial, it took the judge just 30 minutes to rule the agencies out of compliance. But the victory for Neff, who currently heads Atlanta’s Libertarian Party, is hollow for the rest of Georgia: As of publication of this commentary… View Article
Civil asset forfeiture – which is defined as law enforcement’s authority to seize private property on the suspicion of a crime — has landed on the Georgia State Capitol doorstep.  This week the Georgia Public Policy Foundation called for a rewrite of the state’s asset forfeiture laws to protect citizens whose property was seized even though they are charged with no crime. “This issue is more of a threat to private property in Georgia than any other issue,” said GPPF President Kelly McCutchen.  “When you have an innocent owner who has done nothing wrong, hasn’t been convicted of a crime, has not been accused of a crime, and their own government seizes property without compensation, and they have to sue… View Article

It’s so often a lack of information that keeps us from getting involved. The Foundation is doing for the public what many could not do for themselves. Anytime that we’re given the truth, people can make good decisions.

Deen Day Smith, Chairman of the Board, Cecil B. Day Investment Company more quotes