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Legislative Day 39 - March 27, 2012

It is the 39th legislative day of the Georgia General Assembly.

The Georgia House and Senate remain in session at this hour. We're still expecting action on assisted suicide.

Long–awaited criminal justice reform passes the Senate with amendments. Those changes will send the bill back to the House. Part of Governor Nathan Deal's legislative priorities, the measure would create drug courts and seek to reduce the prison population by using more diversion and treatment programs.

The controversial measure limiting abortions after 20 weeks could be dead for the session, according to House Speaker David Ralston. Yesterday the Senate amended the bill to allow for abortions when the pregnancy was deemed medically futile, a change the House isn't willing to accept.

Final passage comes to the FY 2013 Budget – the Big Budget. The 19 point 3 billion dollar spending bill adds hundreds of millions of dollars for higher education and economic development.

Georgia welfare and food stamp recipients will have to submit to drug testing under legislation passed by the senate today; opponents say the measure is unconstitutional...

We're nearing the end of the session; the House and Senate are working hard to move legislation through before Sine Die. During these busy last few days, things can get confusing; and that's why we are joined onset tonight by Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report and the AJC's political insider, Jim Galloway. The deans of the capitol press corps 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.