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April 9, 2003

The Senate Appropriations Committee passes out their version of the FY 2004 Budget.
The bill includes $487 million in cuts and two creative financing
options to bring the budget into balance without any tax increases.
We'll have the details.

In the waning hours of last night's session, the House failed to
pass out any revenue enhancement legislation. Unofficial straw polls
taken by House leadership on either a tobacco tax increase or a 1%
sales tax increase revealed that neither measure had enough support to
pass. Today, Governor Sonny Perdue expressed his disappointment in the lack of action to balance the budget. Lawmakers David Zelski has more.

Gerald Bryant talks with Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson
about the Senate's version of the budget and the results of the crucial
33rd legislative day. Johnson responds to House Rules Committee Chair Calvin Smyre's complaint that the Senate adjournment prevented the House from completing their business.

The Governor's House Floor Leader Glenn Richardson talks with
Susan Hoffman about the budget situation and possible compromises that
can be made on the Senate's version of the FY 2004 Budget.

One of the changes the Senate proposes in the FY 2004 budget is to replace the bicameral Budget Oversight Responsibility Committee, or BROC, with a Senate Budget Committee. Gerald Bryant talks with Senator George Hooks, the current BROC Chair about his thoughts on the Senate budget proposal.

It was 11:32pm last night when the House voted to approve House Bill 380, a bill that creates a new Georgia State Flag
and stipulates a referendum on the flag design in 2004. Despite
filibuster-style efforts by black caucus members and several other
legislators opposed to the flag change, the bill passed before the 33rd
legislative day deadline expired. Lawmakers Nwandi Lawson has the
highlights of last night's action and today's reaction.