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January 27, 2005

The Georgia State Senate passed its first bill of the legislative session today. Senate Bill 33 which creates the Georgia Virtual High School passed 55-0, but not without debate. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has the highlights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a do-pass by substitute to Tort Reform
legislation today. Senate Bill 3 left many legislators very unhappy,
including 2 Democrats who left before the meeting came to a close. David Zelski has the details about today's meeting.

Debates over abortion, evolution, and the Georgia state flag
will make their way to the Capitol once again this year. These
controversial subjects are some of the many bills that have been filed
in Georgia's House of Representatives. Lawmakers Chriss Knight has the details

Lt. Governor Mark Taylor announced his "Georgia Rx" plan. The proposal would allow the State to use it's bulk buying power for its citizens who are elderly or uninsured.

Only four months after its inception, Bright from the Start,
Georgia's Department of Early Care and Learning has been given numerous
responsibilities. One of those is overseeing Georgia's lottery-funded
Universal Pre-K program. Tonight, Gerald Bryant visits one of these successful learning environments in the first of a two-part series about Bright from the Start.

Nwandi Lawson talks with Legislative Black Caucus Chair and Women's Caucus Co-Chair Senator Gloria Butler about the legislative priorities of their respective caucuses.

Department of Community Health Commissioner Tim Burgess
presented the fiscal challenges of his department to the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Health this afternoon. Commissioner
Burgess shared his hope that managed care can help solve some of
Medicaid's provider problems.

Over 100 middle-school students filled the Capitol today as they participated in the 2005 Youth Legislative Conference. Students from across the State were here to study the legislative process and the current issues. Lawmakers Michael Rittle has more.

The 3rd annual Hispanic Day took place under the gold dome today. Governor Sonny Perdue presented a proclamation to the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Lawmakers Marcus Howard has more.

It was a wild day at the Capitol thanks to the Department of Natural Resources. Governor Sonny Perdue and the DNR recognized the 2004 Forestry for Wildlife partners. Lawmakers Angela Von Drasek joins us with that story.

All that and more tonight on Lawmakers.