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February 27, 2003

Debate was heated in the Senate today over the Woman's Right to Know Act.
Senate Bill 23 would require a 24 hour waiting period for women seeking
abortions as well as counseling with a physician, using materials
provided by the State. Senators accepted one amendment from Senator
Carol Jackson. That amendment would exclude the victims of rape,
incest, domestic violence or pregnant women who are mentally ill or
disabled. Under Senate rules, final approval cannot take place until
tomorrow.

Fair dismissal rights for teachers, as provided by House Bill 81,
was the subject of discussion in the House. Numerous legislators took
the well to speak to the bill, we'll have the highlights.

House Bill 237, a state-wide water management plan dealing with water resources
and ground-water use, was also before the House for their consideration
today. Debate is still ongoing as of this posting and could continue
until 7pm! Correspondent Hamilton Northcutt will have that story.

Gerald Bryant talks with State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine
about legislation dealing with pyrotechnic safety. Commissioner
Oxendine is working with Senator Rooney Bowen to draft a bill that may
help prevent a tragedy like this past weekend's club fire in Rhode
Island.

Fireworks were also the subject of a Senate committee meeting
this afternoon. The Senate Economic Development and Tourism committee
discussed Senate Bill 131, a bipartisan proposal by Senators
Joey Brush and Michael Meyer von Bremen that would legalize certain
types of fireworks. David Zelski reports.

Two pieces of Governor Sonny Perdue's ethics legislation were debated in the Senate today. Senate Bill 108,
a bill that would revise the State's code of ethics for government
service and lobbying was sent back down to committee for further
consideration. Senate Bill 109, however, passed the Senate and heads to the house. We'll have the details about that legislation.

The controversy continues over revisions to the Georgia Fair Lending Act. Today, Representative Ron Sailor, Jr. held
a press conference to say that his actions yesterday were justified and
that he was provoked into defending himself. Representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA, deny his claims that they threatened him. Correspondent Nwandi Lawson has that story.

Senate Bill 138, which would make it legal to operate a motorcycle without protective headgear,
passed the Senate Transportation Committee today. The bill, a perennial
proposal by Senator Joey Brush, is supported by ABATE, but opposed by
many health care providers. Lawmakers' Cheznee Egemonye has that story.

Senate Appropriations committee members continue their discussion of the Amended Fiscal Year 2003 Budget. Today they invited the heads of State agencies to testify as to the effects of an additional $91 million in cuts proposed in a budget draft prepared by Senate Republicans. We'll have the highlights.

Among the cuts proposed in the Fiscal Year 2004 budget for the Department of Education is the Elementary School Foreign Language program.
Foreign language educators were at Fickett Elementary school today to
review that school's total immersion program. Lawmakers Nwandi Lawson
has more.

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