Ga. shouln’t weaponize occupational licenses
Almost 30 percent of Americans need a license to work. While this creates many burdens, a Georgia law weaponizes such licenses. The Peach State is one of only 15 states that can suspend the occupational licenses of those who fall behind on their student loan payments.
This policy works against its goal of encouraging Georgians to repay their student loans. Many cannot work without a license, and without a job, it can be virtually impossible to repay these loans. This law subsequently pushes Georgians into poverty, which harms their families and increases the likelihood that unemployed borrowers will seek taxpayer-funded assistance.
In the end, this law is detrimental and unnecessary. It doesn’t reliably discourage defaults, and other debt collection tools already exist that don’t strip individuals of their means to repay their loans. Thankfully, Rep. Scot Turner and Sen. Brandon Beach introduced HB 42 and SB 92, respectively, to repeal this harmful statute.
MARC HYDEN, DIRECTOR, STATE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS, R STREET INSTITUTE
Cartoon offers chance to refute climate deniers
The Ramirez cartoon, “Let’s throw another global warming report on the fire” (Opinion, Feb. 6), reflects a shallow comprehension of the growing greenhouse effect caused by deforestation and extensive use of fossil fuels. As an endorser of U.S. House Bill 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, I am grateful for the comic strip. It reminds us that “weather is not climate.” The challenge is to reduce the parts per million of CO2 in the troposphere that has been raising Earth’s average temperature; intensifying wildfires, hurricanes and droughts; threatening lives; damaging crops and coastlines; and raising insurance costs and disaster relief expenses. If enacted, the act would reduce CO2, stimulate the economy and accomplish what President Trump said we needed in his State of the Union Address: “cutting-edge industries of the future.” Keep throwing snowballs!
BOB JAMES, ATLANTA