Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 37- March 31, 2008

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Tonight on Lawmakers, the legislature passes a measure to create more funding for Georgia’s Trauma Care Network, the Senate votes to give greater control to local school systems and a bill designed to help protect consumers from identity theft draws closer to final passage.

The Senate passes a bill to provide long term funding for the State's Trauma Care Network. House Bill 1158, which was amended in committee, would allow voters to impose a $10 fee per vehicle to pay for trauma care funding. Unlike a House version which was tied to tax reform, this bill does not eliminate car ad valorem taxes. Lawmakers Sandra Parrish reports.

Lawmakers continue to work towards a compromise on legislation allowing consumers to freeze their credit reports. The Senate today passed its version of House Bill 130, which aims to prevent identity theft by allowing consumers to block credit reporting agencies from giving out their information. No new credit accounts could be opened unless the credit holder gave the credit reporting agency permission to unfreeze his or her credit report. While House and Senate members agree that consumers should be able to freeze their credit, they can't seem to agree to how much the credit reporting agencies should be able to charge for this service. HB 130 now heads back to the House for approval of the Senate changes. Lawmakers’ Bridget Snapp has that story.

Home school students may soon have a way to become eligible for the HOPE scholarship. House Bill 152 passed the Senate today and now goes to Governor Perdue. The Senate also passed House Bill 969, a home school program for driver's education training. That bill did receive Senate Committee changes, so it goes back to the House.

Two bills that aim to boost the Georgia winery business received final passage in the Senate today. Senator Rene Unterman explained House Bills 393 and 1061 open the door for internet and out–of–state wine sales. Both wine bills passed with only six dissenting votes and both now go to Governor Perdue.

Cheers of viva Chavez could be heard under the gold dome today as the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) lobbied to make March 31st Cesar Chavez day. Lawmakers' Minoo Hosseini has more

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.