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March 22, 2005

The Senate today passed a resolution calling
for the creation of a committee to study security measures at State and
local government buildings. Coming less than two weeks after the
quadruple murder that began at the Fulton County Courthouse, Senate
Resolution 431 calls for seven senators to meet three times over the
next year. Lawmakers David Zelski reports.

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced a drop in teen driving fatalities.
According to a study conducted by Emory University, the drop is due to
part to a 1997 law passed by the Georgia General Assembly that makes it
more difficult for teenagers to obtain and keep a drivers' license.

Georgia is one step closer to a statewide smoking ban. The House today passed their version of Senate Bill 90, the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act.
The House included a provision that would exempt bars and restaurants
that exclusively serve individuals who are over the age of 18.
Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has the highlights.

As the national attention directed at the Terri Schiavo case shifts
to Atlanta, a Georgia Senator says he wants to prevent a similar
situation in Georgia. Schiavo is the 41-year-old woman who was severly
brain damaged after a brief heart stoppage in 1990. Although she can
breathe on her own, her life depends on a feeding tube which was
removed three days ago. Attorneys for Shiavo's parents filed an appeal
with the federal 11th circuit in Atlanta today after a federal judge in
Florida refused to order her feeding tube reinserted. Senator Chip
Rogers plans to introduce legislation that would require Georgia courts
to always choose life in a similar dehydration and starvation
situation. Lawmakers Angelena Washington has that story.

Legislation that would put nine types of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine
behind the counter passed the Senate today. Pseudoephedrine is the main
ingredient in the manufacture of the illegal drug methamphetamine. House Bill 216
would supercede any current local ordinance- such as Douglas County's
ordinance that requires drugs containing pseudoephedrine to be behind a
pharmacy counter. The bill also contains an awareness program so
retailers will know which products in their stores are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The Senate today passed House Bill 678 which would allow private schools to hold public prayers at athletic playoff games. The Georgia High School Association had banned such prayers. The bill would force the GHSA to allow prayer at those games if the game is played at a private school campus.

Agreement to a House amendment to Senate Bill 43, the HERO scholarship, which would provide scholarship money for Reservists and members of the National Guard
and their dependents today. The House amendment removed the names of
the Senate sponsors of the bill. Senator John Wiles, one of those
sponsors, said it matter who got the credit as long as an important
bill was passed. The bill now goes to the Governor.