Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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ATLANTA - Private school vouchers, federal health care reform, DNA sampling and Sunday alcohol sales are just three of the 80 bills that highlight the 80 bills that need a vote today to survive the legislative session.
While many of the bills that will be voted on today could be considered minor, there are handfuls of major legislation that could potentially touch the lives of Georgians in ways big and small.
School vouchers: This bill could make tens of thousands of children eligible for vouchers that could cover private school tuition. Now, a few thousand students with special needs receive vouchers. This would expand the program to foster children, students with mild to moderate disabilities and the children of National Guard members and other active military.
Health care reform: This begins the process of creating the health "exchange" as part of the federal health care overhaul. The exchange would allow Georgians who do not have health care coverage to buy it, as mandated by the federal law, from a one-stop shop run by the state.
Sunday sales: After being blocked for years, the bill will finally get a vote in the Senate. It would allow municipalities and counties to vote on whether to allow the sale of alcohol in stores on Sundays.
DNA samples: This would require that anyone arrested -- not convicted -- on a felony provide a DNA sample that would be accessible to law enforcement. Libertarian groups have long complained that compelling such DNA submissions is unconstitutional.