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February 5, 2004

Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor is pleased about increasing lottery revenues. He says it's more proof that there is no need for the proposed cuts to the HOPE scholarship
program. Governor Perdue's Press Secretary Loretta Lepore says the
Governor is also pleased about the lottery profits, but counsels
caution. The Governor still supports the HOPE Commission
recommendations to eliminate fees and books from HOPE grants.

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox released a statement today restoring the word "evolution"
to the State's curriculum. Cox says made the decision to omit the word
in an effort to avoid controversy, but that a greater controversy
ensued. She went on to say that she misjudged the situation and

The Coalition United for a Responsible Budget or CURB held a
press conference at the Capitol this morning to speak out against some
of Governor Sonny Perdue's cuts to health and social services.
Lawmakers David Zelski was there and has the details.

Governor Sonny Perdue made three economic development announcements today. The first was an executive order creating the Georgia Tourism Council,
a public-private partnership that hopes to boost tourism dollars by
marketing the State's attractions. The second announcement was the
creation of the Georgia Entrepreneur and Small Business Coordinating Network and the final announcement was that Governor Sonny Perdue and the Premier of the Province of Manitoba (Canada) Gary Doer
signed a Letter of Intent on cooperation in innovation, economic
development and entrepreneurship between Georgia and Manitoba.
Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has more.

The Senate passes a bill paving the way for citizens of Sandy Springs
to vote to incorporate as a city. Proponents of the legislation say
it's only fair to let the 86,000 residents of the North Atlanta suburb
to decide their own fate. Opponents say the move will cost Atlanta $22
million per year in tax revenue.

The State is now one step closer to having a Statewide Water Management Planning Act. The Senate today agreed with the Conference Committee report on House Bill 237
ending more than a year of wrangling over provisions that would have
allowed the selling and trading of water permits. Those controversial
portions of the bill have been deleted.

Small businesses may benefit from Senate Bill 361, the Regulatory Reform Act which passed the Senate today. Senator Russ Tolleson
says the measure will reduce existing State regulations and red tape
that he says cost small business thousands of dollars annually.

Speaker Pro Tem DuBose Porter wants to take tort reform one step at a time rather than one big Civil Justice reform bill. He spoke to a Special Advisory Committee of House Judiciary
this afternoon to present his ideas in the form of eight separate
bills. Porter urged the committee members to sign on to the legislation
and asked for their interpretation and advice.