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Rep. Tanner named Legislator of the Year
Tanner Legislator of the Year
Representative Kevin Tanner, right, accepts an award from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce as the 2018 House Legislator of the Year. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Dawson County’s own State Representative Kevin Tanner was recently recognized by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce as the 2018 House Legislator of the Year.

The Georgia Chamber’s Government Affairs Council recognizes legislators annually at the conclusion of the legislative session and the release of its legislative scorecard, where Tanner received an A plus rating.

Senator Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, was awarded the chamber’s Senate Legislator of the Year award.

Tanner, R-Dawsonville, was chosen for his work on House Bill 930, which passed the general assembly this year and was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal in May. The bill establishes a new regional governance structure for transit in the metropolitan region.

According to Tanner, the bill intends to improve the coordination, integration and efficiency of transit in the metropolitan Atlanta region and promote a seamless and high-quality transit system for the 13-county metropolitan Atlanta region.

Metro Atlanta is defined as the 13-county nonattainment area, namely: Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties.

The bill would create the Atlanta-region Transit Link (the “ATL”), a regional transit governance structure that would coordinate transit planning and funding and would oversee all Metro Atlanta transit activity, including planning, funding and operations.

The ATL would be governed by a 16-member Board of Directors and would develop the regional transit plan, the official multiyear plan for the provision of transit services throughout the Metro Atlanta region.

This bill would also improve access to transit funding for the region from state and local sources, and the measure would preserve the current operational and funding autonomy of transit providers, such as MARTA.

HB 930 is a product of the House Commission on Transit Governance and Funding, which was established by House Resolution 848 during the 2017 legislative session to study Georgia’s transit needs and analyze ways for the state to adequately plan and provide for those needs. The commission held hearings across the state during the summer and fall of 2017, and the commission will continue its work through the remainder of 2018.

“I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to the Georgia Chamber for this honorable recognition,” Tanner said. “Georgia is the No. 1 state for business in the nation, but in order to keep this prestigious title, we must improve and grow our state’s transportation system and provide Georgia’s businesses with the connectivity needed to thrive. Locally, approximately 58 percent of the citizens in House district 9 commute to the metro Atlanta area for work, and I am proud that this legislation will offer a positive benefit for those commuters.

“I’d like to thank Speaker Ralston, House leadership and my colleagues in the General Assembly for their overwhelming support of this monumental legislation, and I’m thankful to the Georgia Chamber for this award,” he continued.

Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, commended Tanner’s work on the bill.

“Whether he’s working to support students in failing schools or help commuters stuck in rush-hour traffic, Chairman Tanner is unwavering in his commitment and dedication to serving this state and its citizens,” Ralston said. “He is a consensus builder and someone who has rightly earned the trust of the members of the General Assembly. I am proud to have him as part of our leadership team in the House and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Tanner represents the citizens of District 9, which includes portions of Dawson, Forsyth and Lumpkin counties. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and currently serves as Chairman of the Transportation Committee.

He also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and the Education, Intragovernmental Coordination, Natural Resources and Environment and Special Rules committees.

Tanner started his career as a volunteer fireman in Dawson County, and then worked for the Sheriff's office as chief deputy and undersheriff for a number of years. He served as Dawson county manager prior to his first term in office.

Currently he owns a security company and another called Tanco Investments, a residential and commercial rental property company. He is also a licensed contractor and builds residential homes.

He has been married to Stacie for over 18 years and the two have three daughters: Kaitlyn, Abbie and Chloe.