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Monday, March 14, 2011 - 4:27am

Session's Crossover Day Fast Approaching

Lawmakers will be especially busy during Monday's scheduled Day-29 of the 40 day General Assembly calendar, as Crossover Day approaches. Wednesday is the last day a piece of legislation has to pass at least one chamber in order to have a chance to become law by the legislative session's end.

On Monday's calendar, a vote on an immigration bill sponsored by state Sen. Jack Murphy could come. This piece of legislation would require many employers to check the immigration status of new hires, and also authorize police to verify the immigration status of criminal suspects. Murphy;s bill has some similarities with one that passed the House earlier this month.

Also to be considered by House members--a bill that would give seniors more choice on where to live once they need assistance. The legislation would help some seniors live more independently rather than going to nursing homes.

Right now, so-called personal care homes aren't certified to keep seniors once they need help getting around with a wheelchair or walker. A personal care home does not have full-time medical care like a nursing home. Atlanta Republican representative Chuck Martin says his bill would let seniors stay in those homes longer.

"Many of them as they age, those seniors in those facilities become their families and they should be allowed to live in those facilities as long as they can be adequately cared-for."

Martin says the measure creates a new category called an assisted living home. When a personal care home is certified as such, the seniors can stay as long as they can exit the building by themselves.


Melissa Stiers, Associated Press