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Summer News From Senator Harper

The last few months have been very hectic and eventful as I continued to make my way around District 7 and the state of Georgia hearing citizen concerns. I am grateful to the organizations that invite me to attend meetings and I am thankful for their input where legislative matters are concerned. The best tool I have when representing you at the Capitol is your input and guidance on issues, so I welcome your opinions and thoughts. 


 Below is an update of everything that I was honored to participate in during the last few months.

I was thrilled to celebrate our nation’s birthday on the 4th with many friends in St. George. It was great to see my friends Rep. John Corbett and Congressman Buddy Carter in attendance!


I had the opportunity to meet with folks in Charlton County for a Town Hall Meeting. I also enjoyed spending time with Georgia’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) state officers at breakfast in Waycross at Jerry J’s. FFA is a great organization that I am proud to have been part of!  

I am pleased to announce that the 8th District of the Georgia Department of Transportation board met and elected my former colleague in the Senate, Tim Golden to serve. I know that Tim will do a fantastic job and I look forward to working with him in his new role!


I attended the Georgia Biomass luncheon where they celebrated their 5 year anniversary. This is a great company and organization with offices in Savannah and Waycross that concentrate on the future of Georgia’s clean energy initiatives.


I was humbled to speak at a number of events including the Governor’s Honors Program in Valdosta, where I had discussions with AgScience and Social Studies Majors. I was a participant in the GHP program in high school and I can’t say enough about the wonderful experiences I had through GHP and how proud I am to be an alumnus.

I also had the opportunity to participate on a panel with state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, as we discussed Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). The panel discussion was hosted by the Georgia Food Industry Association (GFIA). I enjoyed the opportunity in learning about the food industry and hearing concerns as well as having to opportunity to offer insight regarding this issue.  


I was honored to serve as the keynote speaker during the annual FBI National Academy Associates summer conference. It was a great event and very nice to be with so many members of our law enforcement community, celebrating their very important profession. I thank them for all they do!


I enjoyed attending the UGA New Faculty Tour Meeting & Dinner. Forty new University of Georgia faculty members traveled across Georgia from Aug. 5-9. They passed through 35 counties, stopping in nine cities to visit businesses, organizations and historical sites to learn more about the state's people, culture, history and the economics. At each stop, the faculty members heard from business leaders, state officials and local government representatives. This is a opportunity for new faculty to gain firsthand experience about Georgia and I appreciate UGA for putting on this event.

I continue to participate in a number of legislative meetings, including the continued meetings of the Education Reform Commission & Move When Ready Subcommittee. Our committee has the important task of recommending ways to improve Georgia education. Input from educators across the state is important, so please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

As Chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, I was honored to receive a great tour of the Georgia Public Safety Training Centerin Forsyth. The GeorgiaPublic Training Center is a comprehensive training complex for use by all state and local public safety related units of government within the state of Georgia. It was an impressive facility and I am pleased that we are able to offer a high level of training for those in our public safety community at this facility.  

Representative Chad Nimmer and I had the pleasure of speaking to the Okefenokee RESA & their Board of Control. It is always great to have an opportunity to discuss issues regarding education with the leaders in our area.  Okefenokee RESA supports our local school systems in building capacity for effective school improvement initiatives that lead to increased student achievement and college and career ready graduates.  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. State Rep. Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, explains to a large crowd at the Waycross City Auditorium how he came to introduce a House bill that will compel Waycross to pull its city limits out of Pierce County and back to the Ware County line July 1. Listening are state Sen. Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla, and state Rep. Jason Shaw (right), R-Lakeland. "


Transportation projects across the state continue to be a topic of conversation. I have been touring communities in the district to discuss transportation initiatives as I continue to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation on district concerns. If you are ever interested in taking a look at Transportation projects across the state, GDOT has a listing on their site.


It was nice to speak with Unison Behavioral Health in Waycross, discussing their initiatives and concerns. Unison Behavioral Health is an independent public agency created by Georgia law to provide behavioral health and developmental disability services to persons in Coffee, Atkinson, Bacon, Pierce, Ware, Clinch, Charlton, and Brantley counties. Unison services are provided regardless of age, race, gender, religion, handicap, national origin, veteran status, or ability to pay.

On August 15th, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak at the 8th District Fish Fry. The 8th District Fish Fry is well known throughout Georgia as one of the strongest Republican events thrown by a local party, so it is an honor to have been asked to take part. It was nice to see everyone and I thank the 8th District Republican Party for hosting such a great event!

I had the opportunity to participate in a dancing competition to raise money for a local charity on August 15th.  While I might not be a pro-dancer (yet), it was a great experience! The “Dancing with Southern Stars” event is conducted each year to raise money for the local family violence shelter in Waycross, the Magnolia House. They do great work in the Waycross community and I was glad to be part of an event which recognizes their work and helps raise the needed funds to continue the services they provide. It was a new challenge for me and I had a great learning experience. Thank you to all who participated in this event by donating, attending or cheering me on, but a special THANKS to my dance partner, Kaitlyn Young, for putting up with my not-so-great dancing skills and my schedule.  It was a great event and a great time.  

It was great to be at the Coffee County Commissions meeting recently where they recognized all of Coffee County’s emergency first responders and honored them for their service to the citizens of Coffee County. As Chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, I am all too aware of the sacrifices our first responders make and I can’t thank them enough for all they do!

 I was thrilled to participate and speak during South Georgia State Colleges’ ground breaking ceremony for the soon to be renovated, Davis Hall. Through the support of the legislature and our Governor, we were able to secure the funding in the State Budget to move this project forward. Davis Hall was built in 1907 and is listed in the National Register of Historical Places. I look forward to seeing the completed structure that will maintain the historical integrity of the building while making it more functional for campus use.


As summer comes to a close, fall begins, and football season continues, I am particularly looking forward to attending many more events around District 7 and Georgia. I always enjoy visiting with folks around our state and the cooler weather makes it that much better! It is an honor and privilege to serve our District 7 communities and I look forward to seeing that our area of the state continues to thrive. If you ever need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime.