Friday, January 18, 2008

Day 5- January 18, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, the House and Senate both pass the Statewide Water Plan, whispers of impeachment abound, Capitol remembrances are held for Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert E. Lee, Lawmakers presents the General Assembly Week in Review, Tom Crawford of joins David Zelski for a discussion on the week’s events, and a special memorial for former Speaker of the House Tom Murphy, who died in December.

Both the House and the Senate passed resolutions for the Statewide Water Plan today. House Resolution 1022 and Senate Resolution 701, which contain identical language, will allow for the implementation of the Statewide Water Plan as drafted by the Georgia Water Council. The Council’s plan involves creating 11 regions, and then having 25-member water councils in these regions will have the power to access conditions and determine what actions to take. The Governor’s Office believes the next step is for these resolutions to go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday, a remembrance ceremony was held at the Capitol to remember the slain civil rights leader. Speakers included Xernona Clayton, Monica Pearson, and Gov. Perdue. The Spelman College Glee Club also performed. Accepting a proclamation from Gov. Perdue were Martin Luther King, III, Naomi King, and Isaac Farris, President and CEO of the King Center.

Lawmakers co-anchor David Zelski talked with Tom Crawford of today about the first week of the 2008 session. Among other things, David and Tom talked about the gun bill, the Statewide Water Plan, and

Rep. Ron Forster called for the impeachment of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle today. Rep. Forster is claiming that the Lt. Governor violated the State Constitution by not immediately taking up the veto overrides that the House passed on Monday. The Lt. Governor’s office issued the following statement, “We appreciate Rep. Forster’s injection of some humor into a stressful legislative session.”

Former Speaker of the House Tom Murphy died in December. Lawmakers presents highlights of Speaker Murphy’s 29-year career as Speaker, and clips from the Lying-in-State service held at the Capitol on December 21st.

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

Day 4- January 17, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, a controversial gun bill passes the Senate, four child welfare agencies are merged into two, more talk on taxes, the House Judiciary Committee considers 12 bills that have been recommitted, and it’s Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol. Those stories and more are coming up.

House Bill 89, which allows gun owners to carry their weapons concealed in their cars, passed the Senate today. The bill is a compromise between the National Rifle Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The controversy arose when private property advocates objected to not being able to control who carries guns onto their property. The current compromise gives both sides some of what they want. Lawmakers’ Sandra Parrish has more.

Governor Perdue elaborated on details of his proposed tax plan at a press conference today. The plan was announced during yesterday’s State of the State address, and is being touted by the governor as a more gradual and incremental tax plan than others offered this session.

New life was being breathed into old bills today at the House Judiciary Committee meeting today. A total of 12 bills from last year have been recommitted to the committee. Highlights include House Bill 515, dealing with lottery winnings, HB 540, dealing with child support, and Senate Bill 88, which addresses the care of a grandchild.

Today is Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol. Hunters and fishermen came from all over Georgia to celebrate wildlife. Lawmakers’ Keocia Jackson has the story.

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 3- Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, Gov. Sonny Perdue delivers his sixth State of the State address, and the state Democratic leadership responds. Also more action on the statewide Water Plan. That’s coming up on Lawmakers.

Gov. Perdue delivered his annual State of the State address before a packed House chamber of representatives, senators, and other dignitaries. The Governor highlighted business gains in the state, as well as making a point of mentioning that he will be aboard the inaugural Delta Atlanta to Shanghai flight on March 30th to visit Georgia’s new trade office in Beijing. The Governor also spoke about tax cuts for senior citizens, eliminating the state portion of property tax. Other points were transportation, water, and education.

Shortly after the Governor finished his address, the state Democratic leadership held a press conference to respond to the State of the State. Representative Kathy Ashe delivered the address, and focused on reducing school class size to improve education in the state, improving healthcare, addressing the state’s transportation needs, and tax reform. Rep. Ashe called for members of state government to stop bickering and “turn to the future.”

The Water Council has proposed a new statewide Water Plan that divides the state into 11 regions. Water councils in each of these regions will look at water needs for individual regions. Senate Resolution 701, which encompasses the plan, has passed the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee and is expected to be taken up by the Senate on Friday.

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

Watch the State of the State Address LIVE

Join Lawmakers hosts David Zelski and Nwandi Lawson for a special LIVE webcast of Governor Sonny Perdue's sixth State of the State address starting TODAY at 1:55pm.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day 2- January 15, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, State leaders outline legislative agendas at the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast, Grady Hospital faces a fight over funding, a proposal to expand Georgia’s pre-kindergarten program is introduced in the House, Decatur City Schools takes steps to become Georgia’s first charter school system, and a bill that aims to make sure that Georgia drivers receive the full benefit of their insurance policies is endorsed by citizens’ groups.

Governor Sonny Perdue, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson all spoke at the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast this morning. Although Speaker Richardson and the House voted to override 12 of the Governor’s vetoes yesterday, the leaders talked about working together to improve Georgia in the face of record drought, proposed tax revisions, and a sagging economy.

In an effort to keep Grady Hospital public, Sen. Vincent Fort held a press conference on the steps of the Capitol today. Sen. Fort then proceeded to the Governor’s office with television cameras in tow to deliver a petition, signed by thousands of Georgians, to protect the state’s largest public hospital.

Legislation was introduced today to widen the scope of Georgia’s pre-kindergarten program. House Bill 939 would provide for the inclusion of three-year-olds in the program, and require the State Department of Early Care and Learning to develop the program, as well as evaluate program progress.

Decatur City Schools filed an application to become a State Charter School system. If the application is approved, the system would be exempt from several state and federal laws, as well as be eligible for $5 million in seed money provided by the state.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Georgia Watch, two citizens’ groups, held a press conference today to promote a bill that would save Georgians money on their car insurance. Senate Bill 276 seeks to insure that drivers with uninsured motorist policies receive the full benefit of their coverage.

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

Watch Lawmakers LIVE

You can watch Lawmakers Live at 7pm every night the Georgia General Assembly is in session. Just click here!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 1 - January 14, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, the 2008 session gets off to an interesting start as the House overrides 12 of Gov. Perdue’s vetoes, plans to revise Georgia’s tax system gain momentum, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sits down for an exclusive interview with David Zelski, and the Governor, Lt. Governor, and House Majority Leader Jerry Keen outline a unified legislative agenda.

The session began with the Speaker Glenn Richardson and the House voting to override 12 of Gov. Perdue’s vetoes of legislation passed last session. The overrides were immediately transferred to the Senate, which sent the overrides to the Senate Rules Committee for review. Lt. Gov. Cagle said he did not expect the Senate to take up the overrides this week.

Last week public hearings were heard on House Resolution 900. HR 900 would implement Speaker Glenn Richardson’s proposed GREAT Plan. The plan would eliminate school and property taxes, and replace them with an expanded statewide sales tax. HR 900 is currently in the House Ways and Means Committee because it involves a constitutional amendment.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sat down with Lawmakers co-anchor David Zelski last week. Lt. Gov. Cagle talked about the legislature’s role in Georgia’s water situation, his stance on tax reform in Georgia, and other priorities for the session, including the challenges of funding a statewide trauma network.

Last week Gov. Perdue, Lt. Gov. Cagle, and House Majority Leader Jerry Keen held a press conference to outline their unified legislative agenda for this session. Among the issues discussed were education, transportation, healthcare, and water management.

All that and more, tonight on Lawmakers.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lawmakers Returns!

The Second Session of the 150th Georgia General Assembly will be gaveled in this morning at the State Capitol in Atlanta.

Lawmakers co-Anchors David Zelski and Nwandi Lawson will have the highlights live at 7PM only on GPB. Our 2008 reporting team is completed by Sandra Parrish and Bridget Snapp.