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March 22, 2004

Both the Georgia House and Senate today agreed to the conference committee report on the FY '04 Supplemental Budget. The measure now heads to Governor Sonny Perdue for his signature.

The three-judge Federal panel that ordered a special master to redraw Georgia's House and Senate districts heard complaints from several groups today about those maps, which were released last week. Lawmakers' Jesse Freeman talks with legislators about the impact of those maps.

Today the Senate approved HB 1519, the Common Sense Consumption Act.
The bill would limit lawsuits against fast food companies by preventing
lawsuits when consumers knowingly eat unhealthy food. The bill comes in
response to a lawsuit against McDonald's alleging that the company is
responsible for people becoming obese because the company does not
provide adequate information about the fat and calorie content of their

Sen. Mike Crotts and Rep. Bill Embry are urging the House leadership and House Rules Chair Calvin Smyre to set a date to bring SR 595, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Georgia, to the House floor for debate. Lawmakers' David Zelski has more.

Today House members approved SB 457, part of Lt. Governor
Mark Taylor's legislative agenda. The bill would improve collection of
evidence in sexual assault cases and provide counseling for victims of
sexual assault

Today members of the legislature and law enforcement officials held
a press conference urging the Senate to pass HB 1327, a bill they say
protects law enforcement officials from being accused of racial profiling. Lawmakers' Chrissy Thrasher has more.

The Georgia Senate today approved a special "Choose Life" license plate benefiting clinics that counsel against abortions. The plan, sponsored by Sen. Preston Smith, one of Governor Perdue's floor leaders, was initially approved Friday as an amendment to HB 1253,
which would let widows of Medal of Honor winners keep their special
tags after the recipient dies. Because so much of the original bill had
been changed, it had to wait until today for final approval.

The House today approved SB 482, which amends Georgia's DNA
registry of convicted criminals to add those sentenced to death and to
life in prison to the registry. Currently, DNA is only collected from
an inmate upon their release from prison.

The House today also approved SB 356, which creates a voluntary registry for property owners to register with the Georgia Department of Forestry to allow the department to measure the level of carbon dioxide on forested or agricultural property.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and occasionally, it's in the
State Capitol. Some of Georgia's own came to the Capitol last week to
display their works of art. Lawmakers' Angelena Washington has more.