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February 26, 2004

The Georgia House failed this evening to approve SR 595, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
House Members voted 117-50 for the resolution. However, SR 595 is a
proposed constitutional amendment. Such measures require the approval
of two-thirds of the House, or 120 yes votes. The House Rules Committee
voted 23-to-6 to send the measure to the full chamber this afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the committee questioned the sponsor of the
resolution, Sen. Mike Crotts. The amendment would define marriage as
"only the union between a man and a woman" and prevent Georgia
authorities from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other

Supreme Court Denies Request for Stay in Reapportionment Case.
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the state of Georgia's request to
postpone a judgment requiring lawmakers to redraw legislative maps
before this year's elections. We'll have reactions from both sides of
the aisle to the ruling.

Today Governor Sonny Perdue held a press conference to
announce a major reorganization of the Georgia Department of Human
Resources Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). DFCS will initiate this reorganization beginning April 1, 2004. We'll have details on today's announcement.

Today House Reapportionment Chair Carolyn Hugley said she did not think her committee would be able to meet a March 1st deadline to draw new House District Maps. Lawmakers' Chrissy Thrasher has more.

FY '04 Supplemental Budget. Today the Senate Appropriations
Committee approved their version of the FY '04 Supplemental Budget.
According to Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Hill, the Senate is
taking a prudent approach to the budget process. Lawmakers' Jesse Freeman has more.

Sen. Ed Harbison held a press conference along with other members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus
to voice concerns about newly drawn Senate District maps, saying Senate
Republicans have reduced the number of African-American influence
districts from 17 to 12. Harbison also claimed the Senate Leadership
had "effectively ended the progress of African-Americans by reducing
eleven key leadership positions to only one".

The Georgia House today approved HB 1441, which would create a trafficking offense for the drug commonly known as ecstasy.

March is Developmental Disability Month in Georgia. Today marked the 6th Annual Developmental Disability Day at the Capitol. Lawmakers' Angelena Washington has more on today's events.