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February 17, 2003

The Indigent Defense Act of 2003
passes the Senate. Senate Bill 102 will create an agency to replace the
Indigent Defense Council and provide for elected circuit public
defenders. We'll have the highlights from the floor debate.

Redistricting of the Georgia State Senate is already creating
controversy. Senate Majority Leader Tom Price released the Republicans'
new map on Friday. Today the maps became the subject of speeches in the
Senate and House Democrats react to the map and to the Republicans'

Education remains a top priority for Georgia's legislators,
but facing a shortfall and revenues that continue to decline, what can
be cut? House Appropriations members of the K-12 subcommittee met this
afternoon with educators and administrators to talk about funding for
fiscal year 2004. Nwandi Lawson has the details.

Governor Sonny Perdue has proposed ethics reform in three different bills. The first of the legislative package, Senate Bill 31, passed the Senate last week. Senate Bills 108 and 109 are in the Senate Ethics committee this afternoon. David Zelski reports.

Support for Governor Perdue's proposed tobacco tax continues
to gain momentum. More than 300 organizations have endorsed the plan as
a positive step in preventing smoking and helping curb smoking-related
illness. Governor Perdue was joined the American Cancer Society and
others this morning at a press conference about the proposed tax.
Hamilton Northcutt was there and has more.

Senate Bill 53, the Senate version of the fix to the Georgia Fair Lending Act
was in the House Banks and Banking Committee this afternoon. No vote
yet, but this issue will most likely be forced into a conference
committee as differences between the House and Senate versions create

Imagine what it would be like to have a museum of discovery for
children. Now, it's reality. Lawmakers' Nwandi Lawson accompanies
legislators on a sneak preview of the "Imagine It! Museum".

Homeowners Opposing Power-Line Encroachment, or HOPE, met
with officials from the Public Service Commission on Friday to discuss
the provisions of House Bill 22, a bill that the group is championing
that would provide state oversight of utilities' power of eminent domain. We'll have the highlights.

With snow and ice storms paralyzing airports and cities along the
eastern seaboard, it's the perfect time to talk about the weather.
Lawmakers' Sara Hays tells us more about Severe Weather Awareness Week at the Capitol.

What's pink and green and at the Capitol? Why, it's the sisters of
the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and they've come to celebrate AKA Day
under the gold dome. Lawmakers Cheznee Egemonye- our very own AKA-

And, we'll have highlights of lively Senate debate.