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Day 17- February 13, 2006

Two security-related bills are expected on the Senate floor within the next few days. Senator Joseph Carter sponsors Senate Bill 462, which would put courthouse security matters under the authority of the local sheriff's office. Senator Greg Goggans sponsors Senate Bill 396, which expands a citizens' right to defend themselves, if they feel they are in danger.

Leaders from the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials hosted over a hundred supporters on the steps of the Capitol Sunday. The group heard from Senator Zamarippa and others. They spoke out against Senate Bill 529. Across Washington Street, supporters of SB 529 held signs and chanted anti-immigration messages.

Medical professionals and students rallied outside the Capitol today. They want any immigration reform that the Legislature may pass to not restrict their obligation to help patients. They say the current form of Senate Bill 529
would not permit them to help undocumented residents who need
attention. After the rally, medical students lobbied legislators to
exempt health care from Senate Bill 529. That bill is sponsored by Senator Chip Rogers.

A new website designed to help Georgians remember those killed in automobile accidents was launched by the Governors Office of Highway Safety today.

Some Democrats in the State Legislature want Wal-Mart to take more responsibility for their employees. They say the state is picking up the tab when Wal-Mart doesn't provide health insurance for those employees. Representative Nan Orrock says that 6.2 percent of all children on Georgias Peachcare rolls are dependents of Wal-Mart employees. Lawmakers Jesse Freeman has this story.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed Amy's Law today. Up until last week, police expected that an 8 year-old girl named Amy Yates
was murdered by a twelve year-old boy. Under current law, someone under
the age of thirteen who commits murder cannot be held in juvenile
detention for more than two years, however lesser crimes can mean up to
five years. Senator Bill Hamrick says a change is needed.