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Day 21- February 21, 2006

The House today passed legislation mirroring Federal internet protections for minors. House Bill 1055 establishes penalties for school districts and public libraries that do not try to prevent children from accessing internet pornography and other inappropriate material. Representative Mike Keown explained that the bill is intended to promote the establishment of internet usage policies and software filtering programs.

The House is expected this week to consider a revision to the State's lending laws, which would remove the interest cap of 300% from title loans. Earlier House Minority Leader DuBose Porter weighed in with Democratic response to House Bill 864.

The House also voted to allow physicians assistants to accept pharmaceutical samples. Bill sponsor Tom McCall explained that PAs can already dispense the medications. House Bill 832 would allow them to legally receive them. The measure passed 154 to zero.

We have more news now on marijuana-flavored candy. We told you last week that Senator Vincent Fort has sponsored a bill prohibiting its sale. Lawmakers' Katie Eubanks has more information on public hearings regarding the controversial candy.

The Senate today agreed with the House to redraw the lines of eight House districts. The Chair of the Senate Democrat Caucus
said he would be remiss if he didn't point out the Democrats stance
that the legislative power to re-draw House and Senate lines should be
used sparingly. House Bill 1137, redrawing 8 house districts, passed 33 to 21 and goes to Governor Perdue.

Public hearings on sexual offender legislation continued in the Senate Judiciary Committee today. House Bill 1059
would increase the minimum term of imprisonment for certain sexual
offenses. However, some of today's speakers voiced concerns about mandatory sentences for juveniles 13 and up.