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April 23, 2003

The General Assembly is in recess, but conference committees are meeting
under the gold dome. Lawmakers brings you the latest along with exclusive
interviews with Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor and Senate
President Pro Tem Eric Johnson.

Today Governor Sonny Perdue reiterated his warning that he
will call a special session if the legislature does not pass a balanced
budget. He also said that if he does call another session, he will also
include his education reform and ethics bills that the legistlature has
not yet passed.

As the 40th day of the session draws closer, lawmakers are working to hammer out compromises on bills concerning indigent defense and water. David Zelski attended conference committees on both topics today and has an update.

Members of the House and Senate met late this afternoon for a conference committee on House Bill 43,
the "Omnibus" Revnue Bill that could raise Georgia's tobacco tax,
create a sales tax holiday for school supplies, protect more of
Georgia's senior citizens' retirement income, delay the State payroll
one day, and accelerate 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. We'll have the highlights from that meeting.