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February 19, 2004

A three-judge federal panel denies Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker's request for a stay in the redistricting case
this afternoon. Last week, the panel ruled the state's existing
legislative districts unconstitutional and gave the General Assembly a
March first deadline for drawing new maps.

The House Reapportionment Committee met late this afternoon.
The committee is expected to vote on a new map of House Districts.
We'll have details from the reapportionment meeting.

Gerald Bryant talks with Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson about today's denial of Attorney General Thurbert Baker's request for a stay in Georgia's redistricting case.

Speaker Murphy Update. Former House Speaker Tom Murphy has been
moved out of intensive care at Piedmont Hospital and is listed in stable condition after suffering a stroke.

The House and Senate Higher Education Committees held a joint meeting this afternoon to discuss the HOPE Scholarship
and projections for its funding. Then the two committees split up to
discuss HB 1325 and SB 471, the bills aimed at preserving the HOPE
scholarship. Both committees delayed voting on the bills. We'll have
more on today's meetings.

PTA Day. Today was PTA Day under the Gold Dome. Parents and teachers came to speak out against budget cuts to education, as well as legislation they say opens the door for school vouchers. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has more on today's events.

Today U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta toured road projects in Midtown Atlanta. Mineta is calling on Congress to pass a highway bill that would fund many current and future road projects in Georgia, which could help ease road congestion. Lawmakers' David Zelski has more on Georgia's transportation needs and challenges.

The Georgia House today passed HB 1295, a bill that could change how Georgia uses dollars from the gas tax.

This morning Senate Majority Leader Bill Stephens took the
well to respond to criticism from the House the day before. Stephens
referred to House Democratic Caucus Chair Calvin Smyre as "Rep.
Gridlock Smyre" and criticized the lower chamber for failing to take up
bills that Senators already have passed.

Nwandi Lawson talks with Speaker Pro Tem Dubose Porter
about his impressions of the session thus far and accusations from the
Senate that the House is causing legislative gridlock and holding up
important legislation.

The word "evolution" is back in Georgia's science curriculum.
Today the Georgia Board of Education unanimously approved a revised
State biology curriculum that leaves the word "evolution" in place when
teaching science.