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March 14, 2005

After Friday's courthouse shooting,
there is growing sentiment in the Georgia General Assembly to study the
manner in which prisoners and defendants are transported and restrained
during their time in Georgia Court houses. Gerald Bryant spoke with Representative Burke Day about legislative plans to do just that.

The Senate passed their version of the fiscal year 2005-2006 budget today. House Bill 85
was immediately transmitted to the House and is expected to be in
Conference Committee as early as tomorrow. The legislation will set the
State's spending priorities for the largest budget in Georgia's history
at just over $17.4 billion.

Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson made a rare appearance in the well today to warn his colleagues failure to abide by the rules of the House could result in removal from office.
The Speaker made reference to events Friday and Saturday in his speech.
On Friday, members of the black caucus and several ranking Democrats
staged a walk-out after a controversial bill requiring photo ID at
polling places passed the House. On Saturday, Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan protested the bill's passage despite an admonition from the Speaker.

A bill that would prohibit municipalities from setting their own minimum wage passed out of Senate committee this afternoon. Opponents say House Bill 59 will create a greater number of working poor by prohibiting a living wage. Lawmakers David Zelski has more.

Sandy Springs is one step closer to incorporation as a city.
Two pieces of legislation would make that incorporation possible. House
Bill 36, which was discussed in Senate committee this afternoon, is
considered enabling legislation because it would change Georgia's Code
to allow cities to be less than 3 miles apart. House Bill 37, which was
passed by the Senate this morning, is the legislation that would
provide for a referendum in Sandy Springs to incorporate the city.
House Bill 36 now goes to Senate Rules, while the amended House Bill 37
goes back to the House. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has more.

Governor Sonny Perdue's Faith and Family Services Amendment failed to pass the Senate for the second time this session Friday evening. Senate Resolution 49
would allow faith-based organizations to compete for State funding to
provide social services. The legislation failed garner the 2/3 majority
required for passage. Lawmakers Chriss Knight reports.

Saturday was Family Day under the gold dome. We'll bring you the highlights of Legislative Day 31 in the House and Senate Chambers as well as outside the Capitol.