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January 31, 2005

The Georgia State House passed House Bill 98 today. That legislation, part of Governor Sonny Perdue's legislative agenda would create a $100 million public-private fund for land conservation. Lawmakers Chriss Knight has the highlights.

The Senate Rules committee today placed Tort Reform legislation on the Senate calendar for tomorrow. Senate Bill 3 is expected to be the subject of lengthy debate. Also discussed was Senate Resolution 49,
Governor Perdue's Faith and Family Services Amendment. That legislation
would allow faith-based organizations to receive State funds to provide
social services.

Corrections Commissioner James Donald is advocating work
programs that allow prisoners to earn reduced wages. After room and
board charges and victim restitution, there might not be much left, but
Commissioner Donald says putting prisoners to work will help them transition back into society. Lawmakers David Zelski gives us a preview.

Advocates of legislation that would require pickup truck drivers to wear seatbelts
rallied at the Capitol today. Also high on The Safe America
Foundation's legislative agenda, reforming teen driving laws. Lawmakers
Jesse Freeman has more.

There was spirited debate in the Senate today over a privileged resolution honoring Linda Meggars,
the former Director of Legislative Reapportionment and Redistricting.
Speaker Glenn Richardson, GOP leadership and Meggars mutually agreed to
terminate her contract on Friday. We'll have the highlights of that

Nwandi Lawson talks with House Speaker Pro-Tem Representative Mark Burkhalter about conservation, tort reform and education.

Gerald Bryant talks with Minority Caucus Vice-Chair Senator Valencia Seay about what Democrats hope to accomplish in the Senate this year.

And the work of the budget continues. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education heard from Commissioner Marsha Moore of the Department of Early Care and Learning, Bright from the Start and State School Superintendent Kathy Cox told the committee about their budget needs today. We'll have the highlights.