Impact Award: State Sen. Lindsey Tippins was named by State School Superintendent Richard Woods as winner of the superintendent’s Impact Award in recognition of his sponsorship of Senate Bill 364, which eliminates eight different mandated tests in Georgia public schools and lessens the weight of test scores on teacher evaluations.
“Sen. Tippins’ bold leadership will have an impact on generations of Georgia students,” Woods said in a press release. “As a result of this legislation, students will spend less time taking and preparing for high-stakes tests, and their teachers – through positive refinements to the evaluation system – will be able to focus on the needs of students rather than only test scores. I’m honored to recognize Sen. Tippins for his dedication to students and educators.”
The senator is the second recipient of the award; the first was Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth).
Top Legislators: The Georgia Chamber has honored three state legislators for their pro-business stance. Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) and Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun) were named legislators of the year. Rep. Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta), elected in 2014, is the Rookie of the Year. All three earned an A-plus on the chamber’s scorecard.
“I would like to thank our state legislators for their leadership and support of legislation that will continue to create jobs, improve the quality of life and promote economic growth for the state of Georgia,” said Chamber President Chris Clark in a statement.
Mullis is chair of the Senate Rules Committee, and Meadows is chair of the House Rules Committee.
Liberty Medal For Lewis: Georgia’s 5th District Democratic Congressman John Lewis, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, will receive the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center of Philadelphia in September ceremonies.
“Through his historic leadership on behalf of civil rights and the Constitution, Rep. Lewis has helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans,” said Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the constitution center, in a news release.
Last year’s Liberty Medal winner was the Dalai Lama. Earlier winners include former secretary of state and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and the late boxing champion and civil rights figure Muhammad Ali.
Money For Mass Transit: Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement this summer of $75 million in state-funded transit projects marked what he hailed as “major milestones in transportation infrastructure and demonstrate our commitment to improving mobility in every corner of the state.”
Among the beneficiaries: The Albany Transit System, Athens-Clarke County, Chatham Area Transit Authority, Cobb County, Atlanta Regional Commission, Henry County, MARTA, Gwinnett County and the University of Georgia.
The $75 million was part of a major transportation bill passed in 2015 that provides some $900 million for improvements to roads and bridges.
The mass transit projects will receive their funding through the State Road & Tollway Authority.
Peachtree Gateway Partnership: Mayors of four North Metro Atlanta cities have joined together to promote and grow their area, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.
Brookhaven’s John Ernst, Chamblee’s Eric Clarkson, Doraville’s Donna Pittman and Dunwoody’s Denis Shortal are working with the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport and local businesses. Clarkson is serving as chair of the partnership.
The gateway area includes the airport, three MARTA stations and the old GM site that is primed for redevelopment.
Olens Elected Veep: Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is the new vice president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), elected at the group’s summer meeting in Vermont. The association is made up of 56 U.S. state and territorial attorneys general.
Also at the summer meeting, Georgia Chief Deputy Attorney General Jeff Milsteen received the 2016 NAAG Senior Staff of the Year Award for exceptional service through leadership, expertise and achievement.