4/15: Georgia Legislature: An empty feeling

By the AJC Editorial Board

The Legislature in 2011 stubbornly refused to act on model legislation to create 21st-century governance for the Atlanta region’s multiple transit agencies. They nixed a model that’s proved its worth elsewhere.
What bubbled up instead this year was more of the tired same — a proposal to move transit oversight to a state-controlled board. That might make sense in a state that contributes meaningfully to urban transit. Georgia doesn’t.

This idea, too, went nowhere. Lawmakers also stonewalled a measure to extend MARTA’s relief from an important funding restriction, which is to end next year. Read the rest of what the AJC Editorial Board had to say.

Then check out what Mike Klein, editor at The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, has to say, along with commentary by Alan Essig, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, and tell us what you think.

21 comments Add your comment

Mary Elizabeth

April 17th, 2012
10:16 am

From the link above of Mike Klein’s article:

“Two bills attempted to stimulate Georgia’s nascent venture capital investments industry. Both were controversial, highly political and neither passed the Legislature. Georgia continues to incubate businesses that move to other states when they need more venture capital. The Legislature must deal with this issue before more businesses and jobs lost.

Pension reform is another barrier that began to come down this year. The state Employees Retirement System is now authorized to invest up to 5 percent (about $750 million) of its available total assets (about $14.9 billion) in venture capital pools and other private placements specifically named in legislation. Georgia public sector pensions are well-funded in comparison to many states. However, public sector pensions nationally are under pressure as boomers begin to retire and state revenue is slow to recover from the recession. Eventually, the teachers’ retirement system should be included. Currently it is not, which is their choice.”

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I notice that Mike Klein asserts that “(e)ventually, the teachers’ retirement system should be included (using public pension funds for private venture capital risky investments). Currently it is not, which is their choice.”

I do not agree with Mr. Klein’s thinking. He proposes using the government funds of teachers’ retirement monies to subsidize private sector venture capital investments in order to keep start up businesses in Georgia. Let the Legislature come up with another means of funding venture capital risky investments other than with teacher retirement funds. I realize that the many in the majority Republican Legislature wish to privatize much of Georgia’s present governmental programs, including public education, but the TRS should be “hands off” to their voracious appetite for this movement. Teacher Retirement System funds were established for the old age security of present day teacher retirees. This is a shameful attempt to use government funds, previously established for the old age security of the vulnerable, to subsidize current risky private enterprise. This Legislative attempt is transparent in its purpose – for all who care to see.

Mary Elizabeth

April 17th, 2012
12:12 am

“Georgia suffers greatly because they are a one party state. Its destroying us………….come on Democrats give us some canidates [sic] to believe in.”
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Georgia will not be a two party state until the people of Georgia, themselves, become more progressive in their political views. They must begin to see through some of the ultraconservative propaganda perpetuated against the government, in Georgia. They must begin to realize, once again, that they are their government, a “government “of, by, and for the people.” Georgians must begin to realize, once again, that the government serves a vital purpose in their lives, as well as in the economy, itself. Increasing money flow is important to uplift the economy, and part of that money flow should come from maintaining the government’s infrastructure and from providing services to the public. To have a healthy economy, there must be a proper balance between the private sector’s business interests and and the public sector’s governmental interests.

The politics of division is hurting the well being of the average Georgian. Rightwing ideological organizations, such as ALEC, are ensuring that the wealthiest become even wealthier, including supportive politicians, while the middle and working classes struggle. Political balance is needed, once again, in Georgia. That means that Georgians must start to see through what has been happening and become more progressive and proactive in their thinking. When that happens, more Democrats will be elected in Georgia, and this state will, once again, have a two party system of government.

ScottNATL

April 16th, 2012
11:14 pm

Our legislators are the most misinformed (unless you are paying), dysfunctional, power hungry bunch that has probably ever existed. Take Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) as an example. He is a board member of A.L.E.C who with his help tried to push legislation paid for by AT&T (via A.L.E.C.) that would define broadband as something barely above dial-up, Remove local control, and sucker GA voters in his district by standing at the top of the hill and pay homage as a culture warrior. If we keep electing corrupt clowns like him, nothing will change. We can complain but we ourselves are to blame when its all said and done

middleground

April 16th, 2012
10:40 pm

Its only when we take the best of both sides that we suceed. Georgia suffers greatly because they are a one party state. Its destroying us………….come on Democrats give us some canidates to believe in.

Mary Elizabeth

April 16th, 2012
10:10 pm

For those who do not know the difference in the grammatical usage of the words “democrat” and “democratic,” I offer the following information:

The word “democrat” is a noun.

The word “democratic” is an adjective.

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

An adjective describes a noun.

A noun cannot describe another noun. A noun is described by an adjective.

Thus, the following sentences are correctly stated:

“I am a Democrat.”

“The Democratic Party has roots as far back as 1800.”

“A Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party.”

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The word “party” is a noun. The word “democrat” is, also, a noun.

Again, a noun cannot describe another noun.

Thus, it is grammatically incorrect to write: “The Democrat Party has roots as far back as 1800.”

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Content is important. Grammatical correctness is, also, important.

double

April 16th, 2012
8:14 pm

Wayne please (decifer)the difference.

dc

April 16th, 2012
8:10 pm

yeah, because that makes a huge difference. Way more important than the actual point SAWB was making…….unless you care about actual results.

Waynejgl

April 16th, 2012
2:28 pm

The illiterates of the far right have not been able to decifer the difference between a ‘Democrat’ and the ‘DemocratIC Party’ for quite a number of years now. It does indeed take a bit of education and some knowledge of grammar.

dc

April 16th, 2012
8:11 am

Just thankful that we have a legislature that doesn’t buy off huge voting blocks (primarily govt workers) with my kids future earnings….like CA, IL, NY, etc. In 50 years, folks will be clamoring to move into GA as those states go bankrupt.

Mary Elizabeth

April 15th, 2012
11:59 pm

The Democratic Party is the correct name, not the “Democrat party.”