Lawmakers push to preserve HOPE fees

ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers are hoping to soften the blow of a measure that could strip HOPE Scholarship students of their book fees.

The House unanimously passed a measure Thursday that would preserve the $300 grant for books - at least for a while. The proposal triggers reductions in the book allowance only if lottery revenues take a nosedive below the cost of the program.

It is meant to temper of a 2004 law that forces the state to reduce - and eventually eliminate - the book money if the cost of the scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs exceeds lottery revenue by as little as $1.

The measure passed quickly with no debate. A similar measure passed last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

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A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

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