Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 4- January 14, 2010

Tonight on Lawmakers, Governor Sonny Perdue announces a $3 billion, ten year transportation plan, Susan Hoffman sits down with the new Speaker of the House, Rep. David Ralston of Blue Ridge, the annual Capitol remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nwandi Lawson talks with Tom Crawford of Capitol about the first legislative week of 2010.

Governor Sonny Perdue proposes a 10 year, $3 billion dollar spending plan for transportation. The monies would go for statewide transportation infrastructure including rail and public transit. The Governor is recommending $300 million in general obligation bonds backed by specific transportation projects as developed by the Department of Transportation. In addition, he wants the debt service to be paid by the general budget, not by revenues from the gas tax. He says the time to invest is now... and not investing is not an option.

The new Speaker of the House, David Ralston of Blue Ridge, sits down with Lawmakers’ Susan Hoffman to talk about the challenges and opportunities Georgia faces and his plans as Speaker.

The annual Capitol Celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took place today under the gold dome. The ceremonies were marked by prayers for the people of Haiti along with a few light hearted moments recalling doctor king as father, brother, friend and leader. Lawmakers’ Valarie Edwards has the highlights.

If you're texting on your cell phone while driving, one state representative says no more! You are putting yourself and others in harm's way. Rep. Amos Amerson is drafting legislation at the request of a grandmother who lost her grandson who was texting while driving. The bill suggests a $100 fine if you're caught texting while driving. Rep. Amerson is also offering another bill that says no talking on the phone while driving. He says cell phone use while driving is almost as dangerous as drinking and driving. Amerson says the fine for talking while driving would be capped at $300. Amerson and some co–sponsors believe the time is now to pass such legislation and that voters favor the ban.

And it’s the end of the first legislative week under the gold dome. That means it’s time to check in with Tom Crawford of Tom talks with Lawmakers’ Nwandi Lawson about the highlights of the week.

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond is calling on anyone and everyone to help come up with a solution to Georgia's unemployment problem. He says we can't wait for the Federal Government to bail us out, we have to help ourselves- and exploit all options. He's holding a jobs summit that is a bi–partisan effort that hopes to bring the best and brightest together to find solutions. Shaping Georgia's Economic Destiny is Monday, January 18 from 8am until 4pm at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta. Click here for more details.

As a part of the celebration of Lawmakers’ 40th season, we continue our Lawmakers Flashback series. Tonight’s excerpt features the 1971 Speaker of the House, George L. Smith.