Jonesboro, Georgia , United States
|| June 05, 1926
|Died||April 19, 2009
Apr 23, 2009 03:42pm
|Info||Senator Terrell Starr of Forest Park was first elected to the Georgia Senate from the 44th District in 1968 and has served continuously since that time, holding a number of influential posts. |
He served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the most powerful post in the chamber behind the Lieutenant Governor from 1999 to 2002.
Senator Starr serves as Secretary of the Senate Ethics Committee and is a member of the Education and Youth, Finance, Natural Resources and the Environment, and Appropriations Committees. He is also Ex-Officio of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
In 1971, during his second term, Starr was named chairman of the Senate Education Committee. From 1971-74, he reviewed and recommended education legislation and led the fight in the Appropriations Committee for additional funding for educational programs and teacher salary increases.
During that period he authored the Adequate Program for Education in Georgia (APEG) which guided the state's education program for some 15 years and later served as a key member of the Governor's Education Review Commission, co-authoring the landmark Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act. Former Governor Joe Frank Harris praised Starr as a "champion of education improvements."
The Clayton County lawmaker served as administration floor leader for then-Governor George Busbee and has also been a member of the Senate Democratic Party Caucus Policy Committee.
He has also headed or served on a number of special legislative and executive study committees including the Governor's Growth Strategies Commission, the Hospital Cost Containment Study Committee, the Senate Private Long-Term Care Study Committee and the Senate Defense Conversion Strategies Study Committee which was established to consider new uses for military bases in the state which might be closed in the future. He also chaired the Joint Study Committee on Revenue Structure.
Starr is highly regarded for his thorough knowledge of state spending and budgeting procedures as well as education issues. From 1969 through 1995 he had a record of perfect attendance and has one of the highest roll-call voting records in the Senate. Starr has represented Georgia on the Fiscal Affairs and Governmental Operations Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) and the Communications Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
During his long career in public service, Starr served two terms on the Clayton County Commission; eight years on the Clayton County Library Board; 18 years on the Clayton County Board of Health; and six years on the Atlanta Regional Metropolitan Planning Commission (currently, the Atlanta Regional Commission).
Born June 5, 1926 in Clayton County, Starr attended Clayton County public schools and graduated from Atlanta Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46. Starr is a real estate broker and insurance agent.
An active civic and business leader, Starr served 15 years on the Board of Trustees for the Forest Park School District Youth Center. He was president of the Jaycees and received the Distinguished Service Award as the Outstanding Young Man of the Year in Forest Park. He is a member of the Forest Park Rotary Club, the Masonic Lodge #399, Royal Arch Chapter #75, the Tara Club and the Yaarab Temple; and is a former president of the Forest Park Kiwanis Club.
Starr has received a number of awards from various organizations for his legislative service including: the Georgia Legislator of the Year Award from the Georgia School Counselors Association; the National Legislator of the Year Award from the American School Counselors Association; the Legislator of the Year Award from the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association; and the Chamber of Commerce's Distinguished Service/Citizen of the Year Award.
He has also been honored by the Georgia Municipal Association; the Georgia Association for Children with Learning Disabilities; the Georgia Moose Association; the Georgia Association of Home Health Agencies; the Elementary School Principals Association; the Georgia Association of Education Leaders; the Gridiron Honorary Society; the American Academy of Pediatrics - Georgia Chapter; and the National Association for Home Health Care. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Peace Officers Association of Georgia and was honored by the City of Forest Park which named a park in his honor.
The Terrell Starr Human Services Center in Jonesboro was also named in his honor. The facility includes a library, mental health clinic, DFACS office, senior citizens center, and children's shelter.
A Baptist, Starr is a deacon and former chairman of the Board of Deacons of the First Baptist Church of Forest Park. He and his wife, the former Celeste McKinney, live in Jonesboro and are the parents of two grown children, Terry and JoAnn.
The 44th Senatorial District, which Starr represents, includes portions of Clayton and Henry counties.
GA State Senate