Lawmakers deadlock, can't pass a gun bill - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers deadlock, can't pass a gun bill

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ATLANTA, GA (WALB) -

Georgia gun laws will not change this year.

Expanding gun rights was one of the top issues for state Republicans, but as the 2013 General Assembly session wrapped up Thursday night, House and Senate leaders could not agree whether to allow guns on college campuses.

Both sides did agree to allow local school boards to choose whether to arm certain employees and to allow churches to choose whether to allow weapons on their property. But the disagreement over gun laws on college campuses kept any gun bill from passing.

Republicans and Democrats do have reasons to celebrate, however. Leaders of both parties say they passed bills they believe will be good for you.

Governor Nathan Deal got most of what he wanted. The final budget passed Thursday includes new investments in pre-k. He engineered a plan to avoid steep cuts in medicaid. He also supported a Democratic plan to expand HOPE grants at technical colleges.

Albany Representative Winfred Dukes told us by phone from Atlanta, "It was a very decent session. We have accomplished some of the things that we've tried top accomplish in past sessions by trying to address the concerns of Georgians."

Lawmakers also approved a bill moving oversight of video poker and other coin-operated games to the Georgia Lottery Commission. Some of the revenue will be directed to HOPE scholarships.

It will still be illegal for businesses that have the gaming machines to pay out cash. They can only hand out certain merchandise or store vouchers.

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