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Day 32 - March 29, 2007

The House passed a senate bill today to give optometrists greater authority when it comes to writing prescriptions. Also passed by the House was a Rules Committee substitute to Senate Bill 17, which would allow optometrists to prescribe a wide range of drugs commonly used to treat the eye. This substitute lead to extended debate, but the bill ultimately passed 149 to 11 with the substitute, which will cause the bill to go back to the Senate.

Legislation that makes it unlawful for a person to be a salt water fishing guide without first having a valid annual salt water fishing license passed the Senate today. Most of the debate on House Bill 81 occurred yesterday, and the Senate passed the bill unanimously.

The House Motor Vehicles Committee gave a do pass recommendation to a bill today that would close a loophole in Georgia law which allows some unlicensed drivers to obtain Georgia license tags. Sen. Chip Rogers's Senate Bill 38 would require persons seeking a Georgia tag to show a driver's license or state-issued ID card. SB 38 now moves to House Rules.

House Bill 147 passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today. The bill requires physicians to offer an ultrasound to a pregnant woman before performing an abortion. HB 147 passed committee with a vote of 7 to 5, and now moves to Senate Rules.

In response to the heat up over the budget battle, Lawmakers' Nwandi Lawson spoke with House Appropriations Chairman Ben Harbin. Nwandi asked Rep. Harbin about the importance of keeping "pork" projects in the budget.

Co-anchor David Zelski had the opportunity to talk with Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill. David asked Sen. Hill to respond to allegations from the House that the Senate is playing a "shell game."

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.