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January 27, 2003

Governor Sonny Perdue will fully fund the Homestead Exemption
at current levels. In a press conference at the Capitol today, Governor
Perdue announced that he has taken the homestead cut-, which would have
resulted in property tax increases- off the table in his attempts to
cut the $16 billion state budget. The alcohol and tax hikes he proposed
in his State of the Budget address, however, are still being considered.

Georgia's Predatory Lending law is being re-examined. After Standard
and Poor's (S&P) announced that they would no longer rate loans
governed by the 2002 legislation, the Georgia Fair Lending Act has been under scrutiny. Lawmakers Hamilton Northcutt has the latest from Senator Vincent Fort, a long time proponent of the consumer protection legislation, and the House Banks and Banking Committee.

Speaker of the House Terry Coleman also held a press
conference at the Capitol today to express his agreement with the
decision to take Homestead Exemption cuts off the table in budget
negotiations. Legislators have been under pressure from constituents
ever since Governor Perdue proposed tax increases in his Budget Address.

Georgia's sentencing guidelines could soon be revised. A joint
meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees examined the
findings of the Sentencing Commission appointed by former Governor Roy Barnes. Lawmakers Nwandi Lawson has the details.

Governor Sonny Perdue will most likely discuss Georgia's natural resources- and specifically water-
in his State of the State address tonight. Lawmakers' David Zelski
talks to EPD Chief Negotiator Bob Kerr about the tri-state war wars and
recent court decisions that impact Atlanta's water supply.

Susan Hoffman talks to House Minority Leader Lynn Westmoreland and Gerald Bryant talks to Senate Democratic Caucus CEO George Hooks about the budget, Perdue's State of the State and legislative issues facing the General Assembly.

And, it was Complementary Alternative Medicine Day at the Capitol today. Lawmakers' Elizabeth Cowart has that story.

All that and Governor Perdue's State of the State.