Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 12- February 6, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, water seems to be on everyone’s mind. Governor Sonny Perdue signs the Statewide Water Plan and EPD Director Dr. Carol Couch gives a drought update and talk of swimming pools abound. An exclusive interview with DHR Commissioner B.J. Walker after plans to restructure that agency were announced Monday and Democrats announce the predicted impact of their property tax rollback on local education systems. Also the House and Senate take up legislation to resolve a 200 year old border dispute between Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Statewide Water Plan into law at a press conference today. The plan, which proposed by the Georgia Water Council, will create 11 regions with 25-member water councils to address water concerns in those regions. Gov. Perdue also announced that amid the easing of statewide water restrictions, the filling of swimming pools would once again be on legal ground. Meanwhile legislation that would have limited the EPD’s ability to control water in swimming pools was tabled in committee.

Amid allegations of misconduct and patient abuse in the state’s mental hospitals, Gov. Perdue announced plans Monday to restructure the state Department of Human Resources. Tonight, Lawmakers Bridget Snapp sits down with DHR Commissioner B.J. Walker, director of one of the state’s largest agencies.

Democrats said today that the property tax rollback in HB 1057 could benefit local school districts. The plan would give a portion of the $300 million dollar State Education Fund to city and county schools in exchange for lower property taxes. Democratic leadership believes this plan, in addition to a Democratic plan to fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education Act, will overcome recent cuts to education.

Senator David Shafer introduced a bill that will seek to resolve the dispute between Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina over the northern border of Georgia. According to Sen. Shafer, the true northern border of Georgia lies along the 35th Parallel. A survey taken in the 19th Century established the border several miles south of that line. Senate Resolution 822 and a companions resolution in the House would create two boundary line commissions to work out a solution with Tennessee and North Carolina.

We’ll also have Georgia’s Presidential Preference Primary Results.

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers. Watch Online!