Albany, Georgia , United States
|| May 07, 1957
|Last Modifed||Rob Ritchie|
Dec 28, 2017 02:41pm
|Info||Born in Atlanta and raised in Albany, Mark Taylor is a Georgia native son. The folksy southern Democrat defeated 12 opponents and carried almost 60% of the vote to become Georgia�s 10th Lieutenant Governor. During the 2002 election, a difficult year for Democrats in Georgia, he proved to be his own man, winning re-election by a convincing margin. This stemmed in part from of his ability to win key south Georgia counties. |
In addition to a successful term as Lt. Governor, Taylor also touts his respectable 11-year career in the Georgia State Senate, where he served as Administrative Floor Leader for former Governor Zell Miller. In this role, Taylor sponsored the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs � programs that have provided over 500,000 scholarships and over 400,000 pre-K places at no extra cost to taxpayers.
As Lt. Governor, and the Georgia Senate's presiding officer, Mark Taylor is working to accomplish his vision of more jobs, safer communities and better schools for all of Georgia.
In four legislative sessions as Lt. Governor, Mark Taylor has met with remarkable success, including passage of landmark legislation such as:
Elimination of the statute of limitations for the crimes of rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, and armed robbery.
Mandatory expulsion and referral to juvenile court for students who intentionally cause physical harm to a teacher, bus driver, or other school employee.
Funding to establish a statewide trauma network to ensure accident victims receive adequate trauma care regardless of where the accident occurred and to ensure Georgia is better prepared to deal with a bioterrorist attack.
a statewide Student Code of Conduct for Georgia's schools;
establishment of Special Drug Prosecutors in each judicial circuit;
a Georgia Constitutional Amendment removing members of the General Assembly convicted of a felony from office;
the Teen Driving Safety Act to help save the lives of our young drivers;
the Prevention of Corruption Act streamlining the grand jury and indictments process against elected officials;
the Crimes Against Family Members Act targeting domestic violence abusers.
Under Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor's leadership, the legislature updated Georgia's criminal statute of limitations to encompass modern science and victims rights in 2002. Under House Bill 410, no criminal will avoid conviction due to the mere passage of time if DNA evidence establishes his or her identity for the offenses of rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, kidnapping, or armed robbery.
In the 2002 session of the General Assembly, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor achieved final passage of Senate Bill 291, requiring mandatory expulsion of students who intentionally cause serious physical harm to a teacher, school bus driver, or other school employee. SB 291 also mandates referral of these students to juvenile court.
Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor has worked year-round with hospital administrators, doctors, emergency medical personnel, and public health officials to ensure every Georgia citizen - regardless of income or geographic location - has access to quality trauma care during the first critical hours following an accident or other traumatic event. Funding in fiscal year 2003 provides, for the first time, state financial support for designated trauma hospitals. Level 1 trauma care currently exists only in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and Macon. Lieutenant Governor Taylor will continue to work towards greater state support for hospitals to facilitate quality trauma care throughout the State.
Lt. Governor Taylor has worked hard to pass tougher teen driving laws and to revoke the licenses of teen drivers who commit moving violations, speed or skip school. Over the past three years Georgia's Teen Driver Responsibility Act has resulted in over 70,000 teen drivers losing their licenses for violations - undoubtedly saving thousands of lives on Georgia's highways.
Lt. Governor Taylor led the way in sponsoring and passing bipartisan legislation called the Teen Driving Safety Act. This law incorporates strong, life-saving policies, including: mandatory drivers training, on-the-road exams for all new drivers, passenger limits, license suspension for moving violations and a 12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m. driving curfew for 16 and 17-year-old drivers.
Mark Taylor has worked hard to reform Georgia's welfare system, sponsoring welfare-to-work legislation that has caused Georgia's welfare rolls to decrease by 65% and expanding statewide Georgia's Wheels to Work program.
Lt. Governor Taylor is a well recognized crime fighter and supporter of families. In 1999, he acquired funding for special drug prosecutors in each judicial circuit around the state, and he worked to pass the 1999 Crimes Against Family Members Act, which increases the penalties against those who commit domestic violence in front of their children. Mark Taylor also championed Georgia's Two Strikes You're Out law, which incarcerates violent repeat offenders for life.
In 2001, Mark Taylor passed legislation to establish an "Electronic Protective Order Registry" for all court-issued family protection orders. This registry will be available electronically to law enforcement prior to a domestic call-out situation to better enforce these orders and protect Georgia's families.
In 2000, the General Assembly passed Lt. Governor Taylor's proposal that requires every convicted felon in Georgia to submit a sample of their DNA to be analyzed and catalogued for law enforcement purposes. This has been touted as the most sweeping crime legislation to come out of Georgia in a generation and has already led to charges in dozens of previously unsolved sex and property crime cases. Mark Taylor believes that the accused, the victims and juries deserve to know guilt or innocence - beyond a shadow of a doubt. This DNA "gene" print is doing exactly that.
Lt. Governor Taylor is also dedicated to improving schools in Georgia. As part of his ongoing efforts to improve education, Taylor passed legislation that allows school systems to immediately and permanently suspend any student who physically assaults a teacher. This law builds on Taylor's 1999 creation of a Statewide Code of Conduct for Georgia's Schools.
As Lt. Governor, Mark Taylor has also helped pass budgets containing $83 million and $166 million in property tax cuts for Georgia's citizens as part of a program that will eventually exempt the first $50,000 of a home's value at no cost to local governments.
As a South Georgia native, Lt. Governor Taylor makes economic development a top priority. Taylor chairs the Georgia Rural Development Council, which is developing innovative state policies for helping rural Georgia prosper. The GRDC's 2000 and 2001 legislative agendas met with great success in the Georgia General Assembly, an agenda that is helping hometown communities attract and keep jobs (see www.ruralgeorgia.org) .
Taylor also serves as vice chair of the OneGeorgia Authority, created to manage a $1 billion state investment in Georgia's 71 poorest counties. On April 16, 2002 the OneGeorgia Authority awarded its fourth round of Equity investments in projects to benefit rural Georgia. 11 projects were awarded a total of $4,273,461 in state funds, leveraging over $18 million in private investment in Byron, Sandersville, Appling County, Fort Gaines, Pulaski County, Sumter and Crisp Counties, East Elijay, Plains, Tifton, Waycross, and Randolph County. A detailed description of these projects can be found at www.onegeorgia.org.
To date, the Authority has invested over $39 million to bring jobs to rural Georgia by providing infrastructure financing for new and expanding companies, fostering innovation in agriculture, investing in workforce development, encouraging tourism development and enabling downtown revitalization projects.
In addition, the Authority assists farmers by funding the Flint River Drought Protection Act and providing funds for the Tobacco Board to distribute to eligible farmers.
Mark Taylor is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Georgia School of Law. He has a teenage son, Fletcher.