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Day 1- January 12, 2009

Since 1971, Georgia Public
Broadcasting Television has produced a special newscast every day the Georgia
General Assembly is in session. 
“Lawmakers” begins its 39th season tonight at
7 PM on GPB.  Lawmakers will repeat on
GPB Radio at 8 PM and on television the tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM on GPB and
7 AM on GPB Knowledge. 


Aside from
highlights of the day’s House and Senate action, Lawmakers is
working on stories about the Four T’s: Taxes, Transportation, Trauma and
Teachers.  We expect all of these issues
to be very important this session. 



We’ll have information about
several measures that failed to gain passage last year: elimination of the ad
valorem tax on cars, reducing State income taxes and freezing property tax
assessments, and we’ll include new proposals like HB 39, a bill that has been
prefiled by Representative Ron Stephens to assess a $1 per pack tax on



We’ll also be taking a look
back at last year’s action in the Transportation arena in regard to the
T-SPLOST, that’s the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax, which was
aimed at providing funding solutions for local traffic woes.  We’ll also talk about recently released
opinion polls that say the majority of Georgians want immediate action to solve
transportation problems.  I’m sure that
conversations about light rail and expanding mass transit will also come into



With the third T, Trauma, we’ll
be taking a look at Georgia’s
lack of a Statewide Trauma Care network. 
Currently, there are no trauma centers south of Macon
to almost the Florida
line.  There are several issues that pose problems
here: funding, staffing and emergency transport to name a few.



The final T is Teachers but
really that is education in general. 
We’ll talk about Governor Sonny Perdue’s request for a 2% reduction in
State funding for public schools, charter schools, school vouchers and class
sizes.  The State Board of Education
voted yesterday to allow school systems to raise the maximum class size by 2
students in core subjects for elementary and middle schools as a cost saving
measure.  That means the maximum size for
kindergarten would increase to 20 students; grades 1-3 would increase to 23;
and grades 4-8 would increase to 30. Core classes cover English, math, science,
social studies and foreign languages.  


Monday evening we will also
broadcast an exclusive interview with Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.  Lawmakers’ David Zelski had the opportunity
to talk with the Lt. Governor about his expectations for the session.