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Day 16 - February 9, 2007

House Speaker Glenn Richardson introduced a bill today that will change the income cap for children covered under PeachCare. Speaker Richardson says reducing the number of families in the program is a short term fix for PeachCare's funding shortfall.

The Senate voted today to give the power to the governor to withhold the biometric data of Georgia's citizens from the federal government. Senate Bill 5 is a reaction to a federal law that would require a federal real I.D. for plane travel and governmental services.

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted to give unanimous passage to the Governor's Hope Chest Amendment. The proposed constitutional amendment would limit Georgia Lottery funds for use only in education.

The Senate Education and Youth Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to two bills supporting school employees today. Senate Bill 72 will allow schools to hire administrative managers to assist principals. Senate Bill 9 will protect teachers from pressure to alter grades.

The Senate voted today to increase the penalties for absentee ballot voter fraud. Senate Bill 40 passed without dissenting vote. The Senate also voted unanimously to give optometrists limited prescription power for certain antibiotics and pain medicine. Senate Bill 17 is sponsored by Senator Seth Harp. Finally today, the Senate also passed a bill that would make the crime of incest gender-neutral.

The House today passed a bill that aims to keep certain agricultural records secret for homeland security. House Bill 101 passed 143 to 12. The House also passed a resolution that will raise the water level of Lake Lanier by two feet. House Resolution 56 passed without opposition and moves to the Senate.

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.