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March 17, 2004


Legislative Day 33 is a busy one
under the gold dome. Bills that pass either the House or Senate by the
end of today may win final approval in the remaining seven days of the
session. Those that do NOT pass either chamber are considered dead for
the year. Both chambers started the day with lengthy Rules Calendars,
over 90 bills between them, and the debate goes on. We'll have the
latest on all the legislative action at the Capitol.

HB 1190, one of Governor Sonny Perdue's education bills, passed the
House today, but with changes made by the House Education Committee.
The bill would, among other things, give more financial flexibility to
schools and freeze lowering class sizes for 1 more year. Lawmakers' David Zelski has the details.

Today the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus said they are working to revise the new district maps
for the Georgia House and Senate. They say the maps reduce the power of
African American Senators and Representatives that currently hold
office. Nwandi Lawson has more.

The General Assembly has focused much attention this session on
business-related bills. Among this legislation are bills concerning
tort reform and the sales tax holiday. Lawmakers' Chrissy Thrasher has an update on several bills that may have an impact on the business community.

Legislators introduced a number of bills this session dealing with religious issues. Lawmakers' Jesse Freeman has an update on bills dealing with state funding for faith-based organizations and the posting of the 10 Commandments in public places.

The Georgia Senate today approved a plan that would require businesses that sell hunting and fishing licenses to also act as voter registration
sites. Sen. Preston Smith says the bill is modeled after the federal
Motor Voter bill. That bill allows voter registration at sites where
driver's licenses are issued. It's intended to increase voter turnout.

Today members of ABATE, American Bikers Active Toward
Education, rode to the Capitol today to express their concerns to
legislators. They called this event the Georgia Ride for Freedom and
say motorcyclists rights are being overlooked in Georgia.

Yesterday Lt. Governor Mark Taylor announced the statewide distribution of free gunlocks through a national program called Project Childsafe. Lawmakers' David Zelski has the story.

Students from Hambrick Elementary School came to celebrate "Music in Our Schools Month" under the Gold Dome today. Lawmakers' Michael McCollum has more.



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