Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 13- February 4, 2008

Tonight on Lawmakers, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears delivers her fourth and final State of the Judiciary Address, a bill that would reign in some illegal aspects of selling life insurance policies to investors and a look at legislation that would remove the statute of limitations on crimes committed against children.

In her fourth and final State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Supreme Court of Georgia struck a reflective tone. Chief Justice Sears will be stepping down from the state’s highest court on June 30. She also reminded legislators of the importance of the courts and the fact that the judicial system budget is less than 1% of the overall state budget. Her only disappointment during her service: not being able to secure a pay increase for Georgia’s judges. We’ll have extended highlights of that address.

Lawmakers’ Valarie Edwards had the opportunity to sit down with Chief Justice Sears after the conclusion of the special joint session to talk about the legacy she leaves as she retires from the court on June 30. Legislators also reacted to the Chief Justice’s remarks and praised her tenure on the bench.

Stranger Originated Life Insurance, also known as STOLI, is a life insurance transfer process which threatens to increase life insurance rates for everyone. Put very simply, this is the practice of people seeking investors to pay for their life insurance policies with the condition that the investor is the beneficiary of the policy when the insured dies. Senator Ralph Hudgens sponsors Senate Bill 61, which helps reign in some illegal practices related to this process.

Three career academies, Floyd Charter College & Career Academy, Hapeville Charter Career Academy and Southeastern Early College & Career Academy made presentations before the joint House-Senate Education Committee. Career Academies were a legislative initiative of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle back in 2007. You can find out more about the Georgia Career Academy Program online at

Representative Ben Harbin of Evans has introduced House Bill 163, a measure that seeks to remove the statute of limitations on crimes committed against children under the age of 16. Current law only allows for prosecution for up to seven years after the victim reaches the age of 16. Lawmakers Tiana Fernandez has that story.

And today has Homeschool Day under the gold dome. Lawmakers’ Emily Banks has more.

All that and more tonight on Lawmakers at 7 PM.

Lawmakers repeats on GPB Radio at 8 PM tonight and tomorrow morning on GPB television at 5:30 AM or GPB Knowledge at 7 AM. 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.