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Legislative Day 37- March 22, 2012

It is the 37th legislative day of the Georgia General Assembly.

The tax reform plan passes the Senate, signaling final passage of the long–awaited measure a mere two days after clearing the House. The new law cuts some income taxes, creates a tax on internet purchases, and repeals the tax companies pay on energy.

The house takes a major step towards fixing Georgia’s prison problem as it passes criminal justice reform. Supporters say the bill will reduce criminal recidivism and use alternative punishment methods for non–violent drug offenders.

Georgians pay millions of dollars every year in fees for things like the solid waste disposal fund, but much of that money doesn't go to the named funds. That may change as the Senate passes a bill to direct those fees to their designated funds, but only if the state's rainy day fund is at a certain threshold.

A firearms bill gets amended in committee to allow 18 to 21 year–olds who are former military to be licensed to carry weapons if they have passed a training course. Currently, only those over the age of 21 can be licensed.

It's the end of the legislative week – and there aren't many days left – time for political commentary from Buddy Darden, a former state legislator and congressman; now Senior Counsel at McKenna, Long, and Aldridge, and Bill Crane, Political Analyst with CSI Crane.
These guys will help put everything into perspective.

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.