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January 10, 2005

It was an historic day in Georgia as
Republicans took control of both the House and Senate for the first
time since 1870. The first order of business: electing Representative Glenn Richardson of Paulding County Speaker of the House. Lawmakers Nwandi Lawson has an exclusive in-depth interview with the new Speaker.

The First Session of the 148th Georgia General Assembly
convened this morning under the gold dome. The House of Representatives
and the Senate met briefly and had no legislation to consider this
morning, but changes to the rules by which each chamber operates were
debated prior to passage.

Gerald Bryant talks with Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown about the first day of the legislature and their expectations for the 2005 session.

Representative DuBose Porter, the House Minority leader,
speaks with Nwandi Lawson about the shift in power, House Rules changes
and the 2005 Democratic agenda.

Tort Reform, also known as Civil Justice Reform promises to be a big issue this legislative year. Senator Preston Smith and Allison Wall of Georgia Watch talk with Lawmakers David Zelski about Senate Bill 3.

A growing Georgia's needs are also top legislative priorities this year. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman talks with Senators Dan Moody and Mitch Seabaugh, authors of Senate Bills 4 and 5. These two pieces of legislation deal with transportation funding and promoting private investment in public infrastructure.

The first day was not without public demonstration of discontent.
Members of the Queer Progressive Agenda gathered at the Capitol
accusing legislators of gay bashing and gay baiting. Lawmakers Chriss Knight has more on that story.