Sen. Ed Harbison Appointed as Chair of Senate Study Committee

ATLANTA (June 20, 2018)  | Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) has been appointed by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Study Committee on Creating a Lottery Game to Benefit Veterans.

“The idea of a lottery that will benefit veteran’s issues is not a new idea, but one that has been discussed for several years,” said Sen. Harbison. “The Georgia Lottery has long been used as a means for students to attend Pre-Kindergarten and college, but we see the lottery as something that could also be used to benefit the men and women who have sacrificed their time, talents and energy to protecting and serving our nation. We realized that we need to do as much research as possible to determine the best course of legislative action in order to find a solution that will not affect the current system, but add to the lottery’s capabilities.”

“Georgia’s veterans have selflessly sacrificed to defend our freedom and keep our families safe,” said Lt. Governor. “Chairman Harbison has continued to champion the wellbeing of our veterans, while working to make more opportunities available to ensure their families share in our state’s record economic prosperity. I’m confident the members of this committee will thoroughly evaluate ideas and solutions to improve the quality of life for our veterans.”

The Senate Study Committee on Creating a Lottery Game to Benefit Veterans was created by the passage of Senate Resolution 484 during the 2018 Legislative Session. As stated in the resolution, the committee shall be comprised of five members of the Senate who will look at the possibility of creating one or more games within the Georgia Lottery for the benefit of Georgia’s military veterans. The committee must report its findings on or before December 1, 2018.

Sen. Ed Harbison Welcomes Veteran Green Berets Robert Pennington and William Summers

ATLANTA (March 19, 2018) | Senator Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) welcomed veteran Green Berets Robert Pennington and William Summers from the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group on March 19, 2018, to honor them for their bravery and service with Senate Resolution 1024.

“I am so honored to have these brave men here with us today,” said Sen. Harbison. “When duty called, these men went running, and I can think of nothing more impressive. I am thankful for their commitment to our country, its principles and for defending our freedom.”

The once classified story of Pennington, Summers and their team was recently used as the inspiration behind the 2018 movie, “12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers.” The story became popularized not only for these men’s heroism, but for their innovative tactics, using horseback to conquer challenging mountainous terrain.

Following the 9/11 attacks, their team was one of the first deployed on the ground in the War in Afghanistan. Partnering with the rebel Afghan Northern Alliance, the members of their team were instrumental in driving back Al-Qaeda and Taliban soldiers during the early days of the conflict.

Sen. Ed Harbison Welcomes Local Officials from District 15 to the State Capitol

ATLANTA (March 16, 2018) | Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) hosted local elected officials from Senate District 15 at the state Capitol on Thursday, March 15, 2018, to discuss local issues and legislative priorities specific to the communities.

“Having our local delegation at the capitol is a great way to be able to understand the challenges that face our communities,” said Sen. Harbison. “As I am in session for forty days under the Gold Dome, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with everything that happens back at home. But I am thankful we have such attentive and experienced leaders at the local level guiding our cities and towns in the right direction. I look forward to meeting with them every year and hearing about how I can help our communities on the state level.”

The 15th Senate District is made up of Chattahoochee, Macon, Marion, Schley, Talbot, Taylor and portions of Muscogee County. Local elected officials of these communities met at the capitol to observe the Senate business of the day and meet with Senator Harbison at a legislative review luncheon.

Sen. Ed Harbison Honors Ranger Daniel Boatwright

ATLANTA (March 8, 2018) | Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) was pleased to honor Ranger Daniel Boatwright with Senate Resolution 859 at the state Capitol on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

“Ranger Boatwright and the 2nd Airborne Ranger Company’s integrity is why I strive to do everything I can to make our state a better place,” said Sen. Harbison. “These men have not received the recognition they deserve. They fought tirelessly for our country during a time of heightened racial tension and I consider it a great honor to ensure that their stories are persevered in American history.”

Ranger Boatwright is one of the last surviving soldiers of the 2ndAirborne Ranger Company. The 126 men of the 2nd Airborne Ranger Company fought in Korea from Christmas Day of 1950 until the fall of 1951 and are the first, last and only all African-American ranger company in United States history. Ranger Boatwright, from Keysville, Georgia, wrote a book documenting the company’s experiences in persevering American values and freedom.

One-Day Veterans Educational Event for High Schoolers Being Held in Columbus

ATLANTA (November 1, 2017) | Senator Ed Harbison (D — Columbus) recently attended a presentation ceremony for a grant that is being given to the National Infantry Museum in Columbus. AT&T, which is providing the grant that is funding the one-day education program on Nov. 6 between the National Infantry Museum and high school ROTC students, invited Sen. Harbison and Rep. Richard Smith to attend the check presentation as special guests.

“I am thankful for everyone who had a part in making this event possible,” said Sen. Harbison. “Our youth today are going to be the difference-makers tomorrow. Helping them better understand the commitment, drive and sacrifice it takes is vital to helping ensure these young men and women are ready to serve their country. It is important for us to establish that link between the future and what has been. The men and women who have served in the armed forces can be an example for what we have coming.”

More than 800 students from Muscogee and Troup Counties in Georgia, along with students from Russell and Lee Counties in Alabama will attend the educational event with 100 active duty military members and veterans to learn first-hand from the experiences of older generations and the sacrifices they made.

Sen. Ed Harbison to Speak at the Military Family Summit in Columbus

ATLANTA (October 12, 2017) | Senator Ed Harbison (D — Columbus) will speak at the Congressional Military Family Caucus Summit hosted by Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA – 02) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA – 05) in Columbus, Georgia, on October 17, 2017.

“I am looking forward to speaking at this summit and thank Congressman Bishop, Congresswoman Rodgers and the Congressional Military Families Caucus for putting this event together,” said Sen. Harbison. “An integral part of our district 15 community is Fort Benning and the citizens statewide who live and work in and around one of our several military installations. Understanding, receiving and using your benefits to help yourself and your family live happy and healthy lives is a privilege you have earned. We host summits like this to better comprehend what needs our veterans have and use these ideas to help create positive, impactful legislation that will help support a veteran-friendly Georgia.”

The meeting will feature several panels, recognition presentations and breakout sessions that will highlight various aspects of military family life, from military spouse employment, to military healthcare, education, benefits and more.

The Congressional Military Family Caucus meets annually to host a summit aimed at addressing the unique challenges military families across the nation face. Members of Congress, local elected officials, advocates, military families and service members meet to discuss solutions to the issues military families encounter.

State Institutions and Property Committee Holds Hearing on ESPC Program

ATLANTA (June 28, 2017) | The Senate State Institutions and Property Committee, chaired by Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus), met today to discuss the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Program, created by Senate Bill 194 and Senate Resolution 1231 during the 2010 legislative session.

“This meeting serves as an informative report of the benefits this program provides to various state agencies across Georgia,” said Sen. Harbison. “This project has a proven record of success through the millions of dollars in savings it has provided shown by the testimony from the Department of Corrections, Board of Regents, GDOT and Georgia World Congress Center. I am thankful for everything our state and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority has done to promote energy conservation among our state agencies.”

The meeting featured reports on the overall success of the ESPC program from Hal Gibson from the Department of Corrections, Alan Travis from the Board of Regents, Mike Dover from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), and Frank Poe and staff members from the Georgia World Congress Center. They were accompanied by Kevin Clark from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and Kathy Robb from the Georgia Energy Services Coalition who presented an overview of the program and its function.

Senator Ed Harbison Hosts International Military Students at the State Capitol

ATLANTA (January 17, 2017) | Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) hosted a group of students from the International Military Student Office (IMSO), located in Ft. Benning, Georgia, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. He was joined by Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan), Sen. Gail Davenport (D – Jonesboro) and Sen. Michael Williams (R – Cumming).

“The opportunity to host and meet the students from the IMSO is one that I always enjoy,” said Sen. Harbison. “I am happy to introduce them to the Georgia Senate and give them an overview of the function and processes in our state government. Meetings like these are the first step in successful foreign relations and I am glad to play a small part in ensuring a prosperous future for our nation and its allies.”

The IMSO serves as the headquarters for all international students at Fort Benning. All IMSO students learn about the different levels of the U.S. government during their stay in this country. This helps to give them an understanding of our way of life, as well as the government and military operations within it.

To learn more about the International Military Student Office at the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, follow this link:

Senate Chairmen for the 154th Georgia General Assembly

ATLANTA (January 10, 2017)  |  The Senate Committee on Assignments has announced the full list of standing committee chairmen for the first session of the 154th Georgia General Assembly:

  • Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee: Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa)
  • Appropriations Committee: Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville)
  • Banking and Financial Institutions Committee: Sen. William Ligon (R – Brunswick)
  • Economic Development and Tourism Committee: Sen. Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton)
  • Education and Youth Committee: Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R – Marietta)
  • Ethics Committee: Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge)
  • Finance Committee: Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome)
  • Government Oversight Committee: Sen. Bill Heath (R – Bremen)
  • Health and Human Services Committee: Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford)
  • Higher Education Committee: Sen. Fran Millar (R – Atlanta)
  • Insurance and Labor Committee: Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson)
  • Interstate Cooperation Committee: Sen. Donzella James (D – Atlanta)
  • Judiciary Committee: Sen. Jesse Stone (R – Waynesboro)
  • Natural Resources and the Environment Committee: Sen. Frank Ginn (R – Danielsville)
  • Public Safety Committee: Sen. Tyler Harper (R – Ocilla)
  • Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee: Sen. Ben Watson (R – Savannah)
  • Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee: Sen. Rick Jeffares (R – McDonough)
  • Retirement Committee: Sen. Ellis Black (R – Valdosta)
  • Rules Committee: Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga)
  • Science and Technology Committee: Sen. Bruce Thompson (R – White)
  • Special Judiciary Committee: Sen. Curt Thompson (D – Tucker)
  • State and Local Governmental Operations Committee: Sen. John Albers (R – Roswell)
  • State Institutions and Property Committee: Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus)
  • Transportation Committee: Brandon Beach (R – Alpharetta)
  • Urban Affairs Committee: Sen. Lester Jackson (D – Savannah)
  • Veterans, Military and Homeland Security: Sen. Hunter Hill (R – Atlanta)

For additional information and full committee lists, please visit the Georgia Senate website.

Georgia Arts Standards Commission Selection Committee Selects Sculptor for Martin Luther King Jr. Statue

ATLANTA (June 23, 2016) | Sen. Ed Harbison (D – Columbus) was a member of the Georgia Arts Standards Commission Selection Committee tasked with selecting the sculptor who will erect a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. on Capitol grounds. After a thorough search, the Committee announced Martin C. Dawe as the projects’ sculptor.

“The Georgia Arts Standards Commission Selection Committee is confident in its selection of Martin C. Dawe,” said Sen. Harbison. “Dawe has a proven track record of artistic achievement and we look forward to finally taking the long overdue step to create a statue honoring the life, legacy and memory of Martin Luther King Jr. on Capitol grounds.”

Other members of the Selection Committee included Rep. Calvin Smyre (D – Columbus), a representative from the King Estate, Chairwoman of the Georgia Arts Standards Commission Carrie Ashbee and Georgia Capitol Museum Registrar Karin Johnston.

Gov. Deal first announced plans for the statue at last year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial ceremony. The Committee expects the completed statue to be unveiled in early 2017.

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For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2016

For Information Contact:

Ines Owens, Acting Director
Gavriella Coffman, Communications Associate
[email protected]