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April 22, 2003

From the look of the Senate calendar, the 39th Day
of the Georgia General Assembly has all of the appearances of being a
busy day indeed. The Senate Rules committeee placed 80 bills on their
calendar, the House only 13. But of course, those numbers don't reflect
all of the agrees and disagrees votes that must be taken on legislation
which has taken different forms in different chambers. We'll have the
highlights of action in both chambers.

The long-awaited Senate vote on the flag bill is expected today. The debate on the bill started shortly after noon and continues. The House debate on HB 380 lasted for 7 hours. Gerald Bryant will have the latest on the Senate debate on HB 380, and the 11 proposed amendments to the bill.

But House Bill 380 is stirring controversy outside the chamber as well.
Lawmakers' Nwandi Lawson has the latest in reaction to the plan that
would give Georgia it's third flag in just over two years.

The House puts all its eggs in one basket. In what is being termed an "omnibus" revenue bill, the House amended the Senate substitute to House Bill 43
to include an excise tax on tobacco products, a sales tax holiday for
school supplies, protect more of Georgia's senior citizens' retirement
income, a one day State payroll delay and the acceleration of the
collection of payroll withholding. The bill also includes tax credits
for Daimler Chrysler and Newell Rubbermaid as well as a special tax
exemption for the construction of the Atlanta Aquarium. Susan Hoffman
talks with House Ways and Means Chair Richard Royal and Senate Majority
Leader Tom Price about the prospects for the bill.

And speaking of prospects for pending legislation, the House Rules Committee met this morning to set the calendar for the 40th and final legislative day. Correspondent David Zelski has more about that meeting, and what bills met with resistance in committee.