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February 13, 2003

Reapportionment. Today the Senate
approved legislation by a vote of 30-to-23 that would set guidelines
for reapportionment. The bill would prohibit oddly shaped districts and
the splitting of counties or cities for political gain. Republicans say
the bill would put an end to bizarre districts that favor one party.
Democrats claim the legislation is unclear and would create problems
for future redistricting.

Governor Sonny Perdue's first ethics bill earned unanimous approval in the Senate today. Senate Bill 31
would prohibit legislators from influencing the treatment of prisoners,
candidate-to-candidate transfers of political contributions, and
soliciting campaign funds during the legislative session. Senators also
added an amendment proposed by Senator George Hooks to make sign a
pledge of "ethical campaigning".

On the House side, Representatives from both sides of the aisle approved the Supplemental Budget by a vote of 151-to-23. We'll have the details on the House version of the midyear budget.

Representative Don Parsons offered 5 amendments today to the
Supplemental Budget, but none of them passed. Susan Hoffman talks with
Representative Parsons about his efforts.

Budget Cuts and Healthcare. This afternoon the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health met to hear testimony
on how budget cuts would affect Georgia's health care system. Nwandi
Lawson has the highlights.

Child Endangerment. Today advocates of child abuse prevention rallied at the capitol in support of House Bill 197,
the bill that would make child endangerment a felony. State
Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox was in attendance. Cheznee Egemonye

The Senate voted today to give Georgia's prosecutors the same number of preemptive jury strikes
as the defense in jury trials. We'll have highlights from the debate on
Senate Bill 27, a bill supporters say would provide equal justice in
criminal trials.

Last year K-12 school libraries lost $14 million in state
budget cuts. This year Governor Perdue wants to give $4 million back,
but some say it's not enough. Nwandi Lawson reports.

Yesterday Governor Perdue declared next week Severe Weather Awareness Week. Sara Hays reports on the Governor's plan to help citizens protect themselves from the unexpected.