Lawmakers are completing the first full week of the session Friday and they've been pretty darn busy their first few days back at the Gold Dome. Maybe that's because they're really working two sessions: the current one -- which will be too brief, many say, to really do any substantial legislation -- and the next session, which won't begin until 2015. Walking around the halls of the Capitol and talking to lawmakers, lobbyists and others, your GPB News Now correspondent hears one thing over and over again: "Oh no, that won't happen this session but we're getting ready for next session." Wow, they're already getting ready for the next session. Are these folks overachievers? Well, maybe more like pragmatists.
State Democratic Leaders want to re-instate an income cap on Georgia’s HOPE college scholarship program. Officials overseeing the HOPE scholarship say by 2016, the scholarship will cover less than half of the University of Georgia’s tuition and fees. They estimate the lottery would need $100 million more a year, starting this year, to avoid that scenario.
More than a hundred students marched from Georgia State University to the state capitol steps in downtown Atlanta to protest changes to the HOPE scholarship program. Meanwhile, senate Democrats propose their own fix.