Georgia Falls to Second Worst Uninsured Rate in U.S.

Posted March 3, 2015 by Timothy Sweeney

Georgia fell further behind nearly all other states in ensuring access to health coverage for its residents in 2014, according to a new Gallup Health-Ways Well-Being Index report… [Read more]. Georgia ranked sixth in the 2013 Gallup survey.
More than 19 percent of adults in Georgia went without health insurance in

Hopes for New Approach to Revenues Dampened by New Income Tax Plan

Posted February 27, 2015 by

Are state lawmakers ready to have “the talk” about new revenue? After hearing state lawmakers dismiss anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist’s comments and efforts to influence Georgia’s legislative process earlier this week, I thought so. For more on the Norquist flap, check out the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Political Insider blog… [Read more].

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House Budget Squeezes Schools, Health Care Providers

Posted February 27, 2015 by Alan Essig

[Read more]The Georgia House of Representatives this week rearranged the state’s 2016 budget plan for education, health care and human services from the one the governor unveiled in January. The new version still does not include budget cuts required to pay for a pending plan to raise $1 billion for road

Tossing More Than 20,000 Georgians off State Health Plan a Bad Remedy

Posted February 24, 2015 by Timothy Sweeney

[Read more]Tossing non-certified school district workers who work less than 30 hours per week off the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) could unnecessarily push more Georgians into the insurance coverage gap.  
Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to remove more than 11,500 part time school district employees and 10,300 of their dependents from

Lift Georgia’s Economy with a Higher Minimum Wage

Posted February 23, 2015 by Wesley Tharpe

This month I spoke to a state senate committee about the merits of Senate Bill 15… [Read more], legislation that could boost Georgia’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from its current effective rate of $7.25. The senate bill is similar to a proposal GBPI described in 2014 in our report

Private School Subsidy Bill Promises Sticker Shock

Posted February 19, 2015 by Claire Suggs

[Read more]Georgia lawmakers are sounding out a kinproposal to create Education Savings Accounts to allow parents of private and home school children to pay expenses with state money. A new Georgia Budget and Policy Institute analysis shows using state money to subsidize education outside Georgia’s public schools will drain nearly $18

Tax Swap Brings No Small Change

Posted February 17, 2015 by

GBPI Executive Director Alan Essig’s op-ed is featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; read full article here.… [Read more]

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Georgia’s Planned 2016 Health Spending – Modest Changes, Big Challenges

Posted February 12, 2015 by Timothy Sweeney

[Read more]The proposed 2016 state budget directs $3.6 billion from the general fund to Georgia’s three health care focused agencies, the departments of community health, public health, and behavioral health and developmental disabilities. The total reaches $4.2 billion when you add in provider fees levied on hospitals and nursing homes in

Higher Class Sizes, Enrollment Drops Still a Drag on Lottery-funded Pre-K, HOPE Programs

Posted February 11, 2015 by Claire Suggs

[Read more]The governor’s proposed $978 million budget for Georgia’s lottery funded programs in the 2016 fiscal year falls short of meeting the needs of the state’s youngest students and some of its oldest. High class sizes and low teacher salaries threaten the quality of Pre-Kindergarten. Fewer students are getting the HOPE

Swapping penny from schools, other state needs is not small change

Posted February 11, 2015 by Alan Essig

As published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 11, 2015.… [Read more]
Some powerful Georgia lawmakers are floating a plan to move $180 million out of the state account used for schools, public safety and other general needs to redirect the money solely for roads and bridges.
The $180 million may not