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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 11:54am

Tomorrow Bills Pass Or Die

Tomorrow is Crossover Day at the state capitol. That’s when bills must pass either chamber or won’t have a chance to become law until next year. Most of the big issues have already made it across.

Changing HOPE college scholarship and pre-kindergarten funding, immigration reform and the 2012 budget are three major challenges lawmakers came to the capitol to address, says the House Majority Leader Republican Larry O’Neal.

"We’ve accomplished the real big challenges we came here with already," O'Neal says. "We’ve done so civilly in the House and we’ve done so with little or no discord at all in the Senate."

The governor has already signed off on HOPE legislation. Both chambers are working out their differences on controversial crackdowns on illegal immigrants. And although the crossover rule doesn’t apply to next year's budget, the House has already passed it to the Senate.

Some other issues that are on the calendar for Crossover Day include a Sunday alcohol sales measure, a bill that bans illegal immigrants from attending Georgia colleges and legislation that would let people bring guns in churches.

The house has not finalized its calendar for Wednesday. One bill it will take up would make sales exemptions on aircraft parts permanent.

House minority leader Stacey Abrams stood with the governor as he signed HOPE scholarship legislation Tuesday, but she voted against the immigration bill and the budget. While the session is nearing the end, she says it's not over yet.

"If we don't see any new surprises we will be very happy," she said. "I think the question I have is what’s coming over from the senate… what will the senate do and what will the Senate send our way."