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Legislator honored by Council of State Court Judges

FORSYTH COUNTY — District 24 state Rep. Mark Hamilton recently received the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia’s Legislative Leadership Award for his efforts during the 2014 legislative session.

Hamilton, a Republican from Cumming, said it was “an honor to be recognized by such a distinguished group.”

“It was a pleasure to work so closely this session with members of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia,” he said. “I look forward to working together in the future to create legislative initiatives that will continue to improve Georgia’s criminal justice system.”

The award was presented during the recent Council of State Court Judges spring conference. During the event, Judge Linda Cowen said Hamilton “worked tirelessly on very important legislation in an effort to clarify the law relating to the supervision of those on probation for misdemeanor offenses.”

“He understands that this is an issue of public safety for our state,” she said. “The council … appreciates his quick grasp of the issues involved, his efforts to educate others in the legislature, his intelligence and his skill.”

Hamilton authored the measure, which was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal, in cooperation with state court and municipal judges, solicitors, local governments and probation officers.

The bill was written in response to a local court ruling that Hamilton said removes the authority from judges to ensure misdemeanor probationers meet terms of their probation.

Bob Bray, the council’s executive director, said he was impressed with Hamilton’s ability to understand legal complexities.

“His knowledge, skill and leadership were directly responsible in obtaining both the House and Senate approval of [House Bill] 837 and getting it before the governor for his final consideration,” Bray said.