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January 12, 2005

Today is Legislative Day 3 of the 40 day session for the Georgia General Assembly and tonight Lawmakers previews legislative priorities expected to be outlined in Governor Sonny Perdue's State of the State address this evening.

Education is expected to top the list of priorities for the Governor again this year. He announced last week an additional teacher pay raise in September and he is expected to outline his plans for Virtual High Schools as well as a Master Teacher program.

Healthcare is a major issue once again this session. Medicaid
expenses have sky rocketed in the last few years, with state revenues
not able to keep pace. The Governor is expected to outline his
proposals to help make Georgia healthier. Lawmakers David Zelski has more.

Gerald Bryant and Nwandi Lawson talk with Tom Crawford, National Editor of Capitol about what to expect in the Governor's State of the State address.

Gerald Bryant talks with Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill and Nwandi Lawson talks with House Appropriations Chairman Ben Harbin to get their take on next week's budget hearings.

Governor Perdue is also expected to address job growth and tourism. Representative Ron Stephens,
Chair of the House Committee on Economic Development and Tourism
stressed the importance of the benefits tourism can bring the State.
Lawmakers Chriss Knight explains.

Ethics legislation is also a priority for Perdue. Passing a
comprehensive ethics bill has been on the Governor's agenda since he
took office. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has more about the ethics reform proposals currently before the legislature.

The Governor also plans to re-introduce his legislation, 'The Faith and Family Services Amendment' which would pave the way for faith-based organizations to compete for State funds to provide social services.