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February 18, 2004

Georgia House approves the FY '04 Supplemental Budget.
Today the House approved the Supplemental Budget, but not before some
vigorous debate over a West Georgia reservoir that had been championed
by former House Speaker Tom Murphy. We'll have details on the mid-year
budget, as well as highlights from the debate.

This afternoon Grady Health System CEO, Dr. Andy Agwunobi invited
doctors and members of the press to discuss proposed Medicare/Medicaid
cuts and other financial challenges that lie ahead for the Grady Health
System. Lawmakers David Zelski reports.

The Senate Reapportionment Committee approved a new map of Georgia's Senate Districts
this morning. The committee approved the map with only two dissenting
votes. Last week, a three-judge federal panel overturned Georgia's
redistricting plans, saying they violated the principle of one person,
one vote.

Today was Child Abuse Prevention Day at the Capitol. Both Governor Sonny Perdue and Lt. Governor Mark Taylor spoke in support of SB 467, the Governor's Child Endangerment legislation. Jesse Freeman reports on today's events.

The House Children and Youth Committee today gave a do-pass recommendation to HB 1347.
The bill would allow foster parent agencies in Georgia to obtain
background checks for employees from local police departments in order
to save time. Lawmakers Chrissy Thrasher was at the meeting and has more on the bill.

Today the Georgia Senate approved SB 446, an ethics bill that bans contract lobbyists from using public agency funds for their efforts.

And the Senate approved HB 20, a bill that would add $1 to DUI fines to create memorial signs at the request of families who lost loved ones in DUI accidents.

The Senate also passed 2 retirement bills, one for teachers and one for state employees, which would allow them to take part of their retirement in one lump sum.