Lawmakers begin to wrap up legislative session - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers begin to wrap up legislative session

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March 08, 2004

Albany -- With only eleven days left in Georgia's legislative session many issues such as gay marriage and the state's budget deficit are still unresolved. Now, lawmakers face the difficult job of coming together to find the solutions.

It's been categorize of one of the slowest moving legislative sessions in the last 30 years. With 29 days of 40 day general assembly over less than six bills have been passed.

Georgia lawmakers bottle necked over major issues such as gay marriage, the HOPE scholarship, and budget shortfalls.

"Those issues have slowed down the other issues that are not being addressing like Medicare cuts the need to be address the huge layoffs that we are dealing with in the state,"says Senator Michael Meyer von Bremen

Bremen says this session has been the most challenging.

"We have never sent out a budget from the Senate or the House for that matter the has been unbalance like this-- let alone twenty million dollars out of whack."

The future of the Hope Scholarship that was recently energized by big lottery pay outs has now taken back seat to the issue of gay marriage. The House rejected a constitutional ban on gay marriage and now lawmakers are being pressure to pass a water down version of the amendment.

"The lastest I have heard is a proposal from Rep. Jamison in which she is dropping the second portion of the bill and it would be a constitutional ban that marriage is between a man and women period,"says Bremen.

But Georgia lawmakers did united this session to crack down on payday loans and stricter child endangerment laws. And Senator Meyer von Bremen remains optimistic that his peers will come together to pass important legislation.

posted at 6:37PM by scott.hunter@walb.com