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Senate OKs amended budget
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Highlights agreed upon by the House, the Senate and the governor last week:
• $40 million for reservoirs
• $500,000 to repair reservoirs
• New funds for mental hospitals, child welfare services and PeachCare
• $6.3 million for hazardous waste fund
• $53 million for trauma hospitals

Highlights agreed upon by the House and the Senate:
•  $1.6 million for DHR Adult Protective Services — replaces federal funds
• $300,000 for Meals on Wheels — replaces federal funds
•  $150,000 for repairing the fire breaks in South Georgia.

Highlights of the Senate version:
• $71 million in educational funds moved to the FY09 general budget to cut in half the education austerity cuts
• $500,000 for infrastructure grants
• $6 million for ambulances and other trauma equipment

Senate passes key transportation resolution
The Senate passed S.R. 845, which allows local governments in counties and regions to tax themselves by referendum for transportation improvements. Ten percent of those funds would apply to statewide projects and 10 percent would be applied to mass transit. This is a constitutional amendment and would be voted on in November.
Bills of interest
The following bills and resolutions passed the Senate last week:
• S.B 345: Brings states together to establish a compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on military families because of frequent moves and the deployment of their parents.
• S.B. 361: Provides a method for freezing the release of a consumer credit report for a small fee. This helps consumers deal with errors and identity theft.
• S.B. 379: Limits the use of automatic dialing and solicitation. Such messages can only be delivered if: permission is granted by the subscriber, the caller identifies his/her name and location, and identifies the product being sold.
• S.B. 429: Expands the powers of the Department of Agriculture (GDA) to inspect plants, animals, contaminated foods, or other products regulated by the GDA.
• S.B. 435: Changes the name of the Department of Technical and Adult Education to the Technical College System of Georgia.
• S.R. 822: Creates the Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission. This is the beginning to Georgia’s claim to about 1.1 miles in Tennessee and would place part of the Tennessee River in Georgia.

Legislation introduced
The following bills were introduced in the Senate last week:
• H.B. 961: Restricts issuance of handicapped decal to a licensed doctor.
• H.B. 969: Allows home schooling drivers’ education classes provided that they meet the state curriculum.
• S.B. 484: Promotes the dedication of 10 percent of state agency purchasing to small businesses.
To find out more about any legislation, visit the Legislature’s home page at