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Day 20 - February 14, 2007

The Senate passed a bill today that would restrict local governments from preventing their courts from considering immigration when setting bail. Debate was sidetracked when Sen. Emmanuel Jones offered an amendment that would make some of Georgia's newest sex offender laws retroactive. Lawmakers' Jesse Freeman has the story.

A bill that gives a trial judge discretion of where convicts stay during their appeal process passed the Senate today. Currently a defense attorney would make a plea as to where defendants stay, and then judges make a decision.

Sen. Preston Smith introduced a bill that could cut down on the number of death penalty cases tried in Georgia on Monday. Senate Bill 145 would allow prosecutors the option of seeking life without parole in murder cases.

Legislation that allows electronic fingerprint transfers passed the Senate today. Sen. Jeff Mullis says that this measure will modernize law enforcement capabilities.

A proposal for a constitutional amendment that provides limitations on state government taxation and spending failed to pass the Senate today. Senate Resolution 20, known as the Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2007, needed a two-thirds majority to pass. It was four votes shy.

House Appropriations Vice Chair Chuck Martin held a press conference today, where he was flanked by many Metro Atlanta business leaders. House Bill 434 will allow counties to use Special Local Option Sales Taxes (SPLOST) to fund local road projects. HB 434 is currently in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Brain Train Day at the Capitol today was intended to promote rail transportation in Georgia. It also drew fire from one of its opponents. Rep. Steve Davis is the sponsor of House Bill 268, which aims to abolish the Georgia Rail Authority.

It's Legislative Day 20, and Lawmakers brings you the Legislative Scorecard.

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.