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Legislative Day 36 - March 21, 2012

This is the 36th legislative day of the Georgia General Assembly

The 19.2 billion dollar 2013 budget – the big budget – passes the Senate including a provision to give low interest loans to help cover tuition for the HOPE scholarship and grant eligible students. It's the one bill the General Assembly is required to pass each year. Senate changes mean the budget now heads to a conference committee.

A measure to put a type of synthetic marijuana on the controlled substances list – "Chase's Law" – passes the House. Action on the bill comes on the heels of the death of Chase Burnett a teenager who drowned under the influence of synthetic marijuana.

Legislation supporters say will save thousands of lives by requiring spouses to testify against each other in abuse cases passes the Senate.

Two bills affecting Georgians who receive benefits pass committee. One requires drug testing and the other calls for participation in personal growth activities for those who receive benefits like welfare and food stamps.

The arrest of Kennesaw State University student Jessica Colotl in 2010 caused a firestorm when officials discovered she was an illegal immigrant paying in–state tuition at a Georgia college.
The incident has sparked debate, protest, and a bill in the legislature aimed at barring illegal immigrants from attending Georgia’s college. We'll delve deep into the issue with Senator Barry Loudermilk, sponsor of the bill. This is a story those on both sides of the aisle will be very interested in.

We are joined by Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report and Kristina Torres of the Atlanta Journal–Constitution; it's political analysis you can't afford to miss.

You can watch Prime Time Lawmakers every night the Georgia General Assembly is in session at 7p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting. The program re-airs the next morning at 5:30 am.