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Day 11 - January 30, 2007

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced today the reintroduction of the Hope Chest Amendment. The constitutional amendment failed to pass the General Assembly last year, but would require that lottery proceeds could only be used for the Hope Scholarship and pre-k programs.

The Senate Education Committee heard testimony from students, local education leaders, and State School Superintendent Kathy Cox regarding Senate Bill 39 and Senate Bill 68. SB 39 would allow for the creation of district-wide charter school programs, while SB 68 would create more career academies. Both bills were given a do-pass recommendation by the committee.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 14 today. SB 14 would extend funding for the Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority.

People all around the Capitol were wearing red today in support of women with heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women.

House Bill 96 passed the House today. HB 96 is a banking bill which failed to pass the General Assembly in 2003. It moves to the Senate.

Rep. Ed Setzler announced the findings of a special House Study Committee on Biological Privacy today. The committee reported that biological information on Georgians needs to be safeguarded. Rep. Setzler says the next step is to draft legislation based on the findings of the study.

The House Judiciary-Civil Subcommittee met today. The committee heard testimony on House Bill 12 – a bill that would protect verbal expression of any public holiday, House Bill 24 – a bill that deals with medical treatment, and House Bill 115, which would allow any person to be admitted to the Georgia State Bar who could pass the State Bar Exam.

Continuing our Tuesday Leadership Series, Lawmakers' Nwandi Lawson spoke today with House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter. Both leaders expressed a desire to work with Gov. Perdue on important issues, including Georgia's funds-starved PeachCare program.

First Lady Mary Perdue announced the Kids First initiative of her ongoing "Our Children Campaign"this morning at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Today was Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. Members of the agricultural industry came to the event from all over Georgia to meet face to face with their state leaders.

It was also Tourism Day today. A few hundred members of Georgia's second largest industry showed up to unveil the 2007 Georgia Travel Guide and to celebrate the $779 million that tourism tax dollars brought to Georgia last year.

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.