It’s clear that positive policy change can happen at the state level and can even counteract poor policy emanating from Washington. The Inflation Reduction Act, for example, is the federal government’s attempt to help Americans with historic prices, but fewer than one-in-four voters (and a minority of Democrats) actually think it will bring prices down. Instead, the Georgia legislature has taken concrete action to get more money into the hands of Georgians. Another example lies in education. At a time when parents are demanding more learning options for their children, President Biden tried to further restrict charter schools, a popular type of school choice embedded in the public system. While the president ultimately failed, leaders in Georgia took the initiative to expand popular parental choice programs in the state—empowering more families to choose the education environment that fits their unique needs.
This week state leaders and policy experts from around the nation, including Georgia, came together in downtown Atlanta for State Policy Network’s 30th Annual Meeting. This gathering is dedicated to sharing state-based solutions to the problems that matter most to Americans families and helping state leaders customize those solutions to their unique states and populations. Such meetings give Georgia leaders the chance to learn from other states and bring the best ideas and policies home, as well as share the good policy work that is happening here and making the lives of Georgians better.
Federal elections matter but by design our political system allows for far more progress and flexibility in governance to happen at the state level. As the electorate in Georgia considers their November ballots, they will find more potential for influence and progress in selecting their state leaders than their federal ones.
Erin Norman is the Lee Family Fellow and Senior Messaging Strategist at State Policy Network. Kyle Wingfield is the president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.