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Day 37 - April 16, 2007

House Speaker Glenn Richardson spoke to the Senate Rules Committee this morning about his proposal to restructure the state's PeachCare health insurance program. After he left, the committee substituted a Senate proposal for his House Bill 340, which will expand the coverage of PeachCare.

Three bills dealing with tax exemptions passed the Senate today, but some may find House approval hard to come by. The Senate substitute to House Bill 225 would expand the exemption for senior citizens. Earlier today House Speaker Glenn Richardson said he would not tolerate Senate bills affecting the budget, so HB 225 may face some trouble.

Sen. Dan Moody later explained a substitute to House Bill 413 which includes tax exemptions for three particular Metro-Atlanta projects.

The Senate also passed a tax exemption for biofuel facilities. House Bill 186 creates a five year exemption for new alternative fuel companies, and a late amendment from Sen. Preston Smith added current biofuel facilities that wish to expand their operations.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's charter schools and career academy initiatives passed the Senate again today, however this time they came in the form of a substitute on two separate bills. The charter school initiative was substituted for House Bill 208, while the career academy substitute was to House Bill 243, a bill which also creates a provision allowing full-time high schoolers to take college courses without losing HOPE eligibility.

If a parent abandons a child, and then that child subsequently dies, the parent will no longer be able to be the beneficiary of that child's estate, according to House Bill 139, which passed the Senate this afternoon. The bill received a unanimous vote,and now goes to the Governor.

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee considered Senate Bill 1 today. SB 1 would have prohibited registered sex offenders from taking any photograph of a minor without the consent of the child's parent. The committee, however, was warned that the bill was too far reaching and it was amended to apply only to those photos taken for an "indecent purpose."

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.