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Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 3:44am

General Assembly Day-39 Recap

There is a single day left on the Legislative calendar as the 2010 General Assembly session winds-down, with Day-40 ahead Thursday.

Out of a busy Tuesday under the Gold Dome--

It’s another step closer for a ban on texting while driving for all Georgia drivers. The bills passed by House and Senate lawmakers would also prohibit Georgia teens under 18 from also talking on their cell phones while driving. Fines would be $150. Senator Jack Murphy sponsored the legislation. He says 40 percent of drivers would stop texting immediately once the law passes.

Georgia may soon join the rest of the nation in the requirement for adults to wear seat belts in pickup trucks. The House passed the measure to end Georgia’s distinction as the last state to specifically exempt adults in pickups from buckling-up. As the Senate already passed the bill, it now awaits Governor Sonny Perdue’s signature. In years past, the legislation has had opposition from mainly rural lawmakers. This bill would exempt those adults from wearing seat belts while farming.

A bill to allow gun owners with a license to carry into parts of Atlanta’s airport passed the House Tuesday. Already through the Senate, it now goes to the Governor’s desk. A 2008 bill allowed those with gun permits to carry on mass transit. This additional measure would make it OK to carry in parts of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in areas NOT controlled by the federal government—like terminals and parking lots.

A proposal to allow Georgians to give to the state’s general fund has been approved by the Senate. The bill allows the state to promote and solicit from citizens on their income tax forms voluntary contributions for lupus and kidney research programs. Republican Senator Bill Heath says this proposal is the result of complaints that there was no current way for Georgians to financially give to the state if they wish. Money would go into the General Welfare Contribution Fund -- totals would be made available to the public.

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