Georgia legislators should be aware of the potential for significant impact to communities of color who are less likely to recover from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis due to existing disparities. We support the development and adoption of a system by which state legislators and certain executive branch officials can request formal examinations of the racial equity impacts of proposed bills, fiscal notes, and regulations to ensure that there are no un-intended consequences for communities of color. Such equity impact tools exist in other states and are similar to legislation elsewhere that requires a budget deficit impact evaluation on all newly proposed bills or allows any legislator to use a fiscal note to call for such evaluation. We propose legislation requiring development of an Analytical Tool for lawmakers to proactively address the perpetuation of structural racism through law and policy. Policymakers would use the “equity impact tool” to identify, evaluate, and communicate the potential impact (both positive and negative) of a policy or program on equity.
We support measures, including the adoption of an “equity impact tool,” to ensure any proposed legislation or regulations advances equity and justice.