- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - The Latest on “crossover day” at the Georgia Capitol, a key deadline for bills to stay alive for the year (all times local):

9 p.m.

The Georgia House has ended the 30th day of its legislative session, likely leaving behind several high-profile bills that failed to make it out of the chamber.

A bill and constitutional amendment to allow up to four casinos to operate across the state failed to get a floor vote.

The House also didn’t take a floor vote on a so-called “public accommodation” law preventing businesses from discriminating based on race, nationality, religion or sex.

Democrats tried but failed in early February to add protection for gay and transgender people before a committee approved the bill. The measure was not scheduled for a floor vote by the House Rules committee.

___

7:10 p.m.

The Georgia Senate has finished its calendar ahead of a key deadline.

Senators did not vote Monday on two gambling-related measures, meaning the proposals are likely dead for the 2016 session. Bills must pass at least one chamber by the 30th day of the legislative session to have a chance at becoming law.

A proposal to allow fantasy sports sites to operate legally in Georgia did not receive a floor vote. Neither did a proposal to allow betting on horse races.

The House is expected to resume voting on bills after a break.

___

5:45 p.m.

Georgia state senators are churning through proposals late Monday, as they near a key deadline.

Senators approved several constitutional amendments, including one requiring an income tax cut if the state’s reserve fund is full and tax revenue continues to climb. Cuts would continue over time if those conditions are met.

Critics say that would tie state officials’ hands during challenging financial times, such as a recession.

Senators also backed a constitutional amendment making English the official state language. That status already exists in state law.

Democrats said the amendment would interfere with local governments serving people who cannot speak fluent English.

Both now go to the House. Constitutional amendments require two-thirds approval in both chambers and voters’ approval in a statewide election.

___

4 p.m.

Georgians who came to the U.S. as children and have been permitted to stay under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, could only receive drivers’ licenses that explicitly state they are not citizens under a bill passed by the Senate.

The bill from Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, would require that those licenses include the words “NO LAWFUL STATUS,” along with other labels. The cards also would be printed vertically, rather than horizontally to distinguish them from identification available to citizens.

McKoon said current state law allows people in the country under DACA to obtain identification including the words “limited term.” The label isn’t noticeable enough to prevent use for voting or other purposes, he said.

Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, said the bill would stigmatize people “for political gain.”

“Your sincere belief that this problem exists does not make a problem a reality,” Thompson said.

The bill now goes to the House.

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1:30 p.m.

The Georgia House has approved a bill expanding the list of conditions allowing people to possess medical marijuana in Georgia.

House members voted 152 to 8 Monday on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon. If signed into law, the bill would extend eligibility to patients with autism, HIV or AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder and several other conditions.

Peake originally proposed allowing a small number of state-licensed manufacturers of medical marijuana products to operate in Georgia. A House committee last week stripped that language from the bill; Peake has said he’s committed to trying again in future years.

“This isn’t an issue that is going away,” Peake said. “Even if it is not me, someone else is going to be leading the charge on this.”

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4 a.m.

Monday brings a key deadline for Georgia lawmakers at the Capitol.

Bills must pass at least one chamber by the 30th day of the legislative session to remain alive for the year. There are some ways around that deadline, but the House and Senate generally work late into the night to pass members’ bills.

The session lasts for 40 working days. Leaders plan to end the session on March 24.

Top issues still waiting for action in either the House or Senate include bills allowing casino gambling and betting on horse racing, civil rights protection at businesses. Other proposals would require special drivers’ licenses for some people who came to the U.S. illegally and expand diseases eligible for medical marijuana.

The House and Senate begin work at 10 a.m.

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