Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 5- January 16, 2009

Tonight on Lawmakers, details of a statewide plan from House Transportation Chair Vance Smith, a proposed tax to help fill Medicaid coffers and Coca-Cola Enterprises is recognized for environmental leadership. Plus, we’ll take a look back at the first week under the gold dome in 2009.

House Transportation Committee Chair Vance Smith spoke with Lawmakers’ Nwandi Lawson today about his plans to introduce a statewide transportation plan. Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson alluded to this forthcoming plan in his remarks at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues breakfast on Tuesday. Representative Smith says the resolution will call for a referendum on a statewide transportation sales tax in November 2010.

Lawmakers’ David Zelski sat down with GPB Radio’s John Sepulvado this afternoon to discuss a proposal that would levy a tax on health insurers and hospitals of 1.6% in an effort to fill a hole in the Medicaid budget that is over $2 million. Sepulvado discusses the legislature’s options and what role the federal government may play in future.

Representative Ron Stephens took the well in the House this morning to urge adoption of his proposal to add an additional $1 tax on tobacco in Georgia. He says the move would eliminate the need for property tax increases and the proposed tax on hospitals and insurance companies. The legislation, House Bill 39 is part of the Georgia Tobacco Alliance’s “Pass the Buck” campaign.

Representative Roger Bruce has again filed legislation that would allow parents 24 hours of unpaid, job-protected leave to attend to the needs of their children or elderly parents. Bruce says the Parent Protection Act, House Bill 37, is designed to allow parents to participate in school events or treat an illness without fear of losing their jobs.

Coca-Cola Enterprises was honored with an environmental leadership award by the Southeastern Diesel Collaborative this morning. Governor Sonny Perdue spoke at the event. Lawmakers’ Minoo Hosseini reports.

Minority auto dealers in Georgia, including Senator Emanuel Jones, say if they don’t receive financial help, the already dwindling number of minority-owned dealerships in the country will continue to decline. The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers is asking President-Elect Barack Obama to issue an executive order to create loans through the Small Business Administration. Lawmakers’ Emily Banks has that story.

Most legislators were sworn in Monday when the 2009 session began. One notable exception was Gainesville Representative Doug Collins who was wrapping up an air force tour of duty in Iraq. Back in country just 48 hours today, he was sworn in and spoke to his colleagues in the House.

Plus, we take a look back at the first week under the gold dome for the 2009 session. We’ll have highlights from Tuesday’s Eggs and Issues breakfast as well as Wednesday’s State of the State Address.

All that and more tonight on Lawmakers at 7 PM.

Lawmakers repeats on GPB Radio at 8 PM tonight and on GPB television at 5:30 AM Monday morning. You can also catch a repeat of Lawmakers on GPB Knowledge at 7 AM tomorrow. GPB Knowledge is available to those with digital television receivers at .3 of your local GPB transmitter, for example 20.3 in Augusta, or 8.3 in Atlanta.