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February 10, 2004

Redistricting Maps overturned. This
afternoon a three-judge federal panel overturned the state's
redistricting plans for the Georgia House and Senate, saying the maps
violated the principle of one person, one vote. The court said the
state cannot use either of the maps in elections this summer or fall.
The Legislature has until March 1st to draw new maps for House and
Senate districts. We'll have more on the ruling, as well as the
reactions from both sides of the aisle.

Bright From the Start. Today the Georgia Senate passed the third piece of Governor Sonny Perdue's education legislation.
Senate Bill 456 would change the name of the Office of School Readiness
to Bright from the Start. We'll have the details of the bill and
highlights from the debate.

Members of Georgia Equality rallied at the capitol today to voice their opposition to SR 595,
the constitutional amendment that would make gay marriage
unconstitutional in Georgia. The Senate Rules committee is planning to
hold a hearing on the resolution tomorrow. David Zelski reports on today's rally.

Today the Senate approved SB 441, which would require the
superior court sentence review panel to provide an opinion or written
statement when a they reduce a sentence. We'll have details on the

State-wide Smoking Ban. Today a bill that would ban smoking
in public buildings across Georgia, including restaurants and bars, was
introduced in the Senate. The Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Prevention came to the capitol to lend their support to the bill. Lawmakers Chrissy Thrasher has more on the proposed ban and what the Tobacco Alliance had to say.

Rural Health Day. The Georgia Rural Health Association came
to the capitol today to announce their legislative agenda and a
$500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for rural health
initiatives. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman reports.

Worm Farming. Today the Georgia House approved House Bill
1101, which would recognize worm farming, or vermiculture, as a farming
industry in Georgia.

The Senate also approved SB 442, which would close a loophole in current Georgia Law and provide for a sentence of life without parole in murder cases.

Today the House also approved HB 1192, which seeks to prevent advertisers from using of the name GBI and any of its divisions for purposes of endorsements.