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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bill Cowsert
Majority Leader of the Georgia Senate
In office
November 17, 2014 – January 14, 2019
Preceded byRonnie Chance
Succeeded byMike Dugan
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 46th district
Assumed office
January 2007
Preceded byBrian Kemp
Personal details
Born
William Stone Cowsert[1]

(1958-09-01) September 1, 1958 (age 61)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Amy
Children3
EducationPresbyterian College (BA)
University of Georgia (JD)

William Stone "Bill" Cowsert (born September 1, 1958) is an American politician from the state of Georgia. A member of the Republican Party, Cowsert serves in the Georgia State Senate, representing the 46th district.

Early life and education

Cowsert was born Sept. 1, 1958, in Jackson, Mississippi. He was raised in Macon, Georgia and graduated from Macon Central High School. Cowsert subsequently earned a B.S. degree in business administration from Presbyterian College, and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. After passing the bar, Cowsert founded the Athens law firm of Cowsert & Avery.

Political career

Cowsert was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2006, and took office in 2007 representing the 46th District.[2] His Senate peers elected him Majority Leader in 2014. Cowsert's senatorial district extends into Clarke, Oconee, and Walton counties. He serves on the Senate Appropriations, Finance, Health and Human Services, Judiciary, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Regulated Industries and Utilities, and Rules committees.

Controversy

Sen. Cowsert, as Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, became embroiled in a controversial issue during the 2018 Legislative Session, when The Hidden Predator Act of 2018 (HB 605) was referred to his committee.[3] The intention of HB 605 was to re-open statutes of limitations for victims of child sex abuse, and to allow civil lawsuits to be brought against both the predator and the entities who were allegedly negligent or grossly negligent in their duty of care, i.e. concealment of known predatory behavior by a person.[4] The legislation had previously passed the House with a 170-0 vote. Sen. Cowsert, along with other Republican committee members met to draft an amended version of the bill[5] When the proposed legislation came before his committee, Sen. Cowsert supported the Senate version of the bill. The Senate passed the substitute version of HB 605 by a vote of 51-0, and it was sent back to the House.[6] The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jason Spencer asked the House to insist on the language of the original bill. This insistence came on the final day of the 2018 legislative session and past the deadline for the Senate to hold a vote on reconsideration. The Senate held a vote to waive the Senate rules on Reconsideration, but the vote lost in the final hours of the session, effectively killing the bill for 2018.[7]

Sen. Cowsert's law partner, M. Steven Heath, is currently defending a small church in a current Georgia case of child sex abuse concealment. Sen. Cowsert has said he has no personal involvement in the case. His firm does not now, nor has it ever represented the Boy Scouts of America, although some have incorrectly gleaned that from a vague reference in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.[8]

Personal life

Cowsert and his wife, Amy, are the parents of three children: Will, Bob, and Caty. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Athens, where he is an elder. [9][10] His wife is the daughter of insurance executive and state representative Bob Argo and the sister-in-law of businessman and the current Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp.[11]

References

  1. ^ Presbyterian College Yearbook (Class of 1980, page 120)
  2. ^ "Members Of The General Assembly Of Georgia - First Session of 2007-2008 Term". State of Georgia. January 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Lobbying has already started on child sex-abuse legislation". myajc. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. ^ "HB 605 as proposed by House Rep. Jason Spencer" (PDF).
  5. ^ "GOP senators exclude Democrats, public, from meeting about weakening legislation for child sex abuse victims". myajc. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  6. ^ "Senate vote - Passage by Substitute - HB 605". Georgia General Assembly. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "HB 605 2017-2018 Regular Session - Cowsert Votes 'No'". www.legis.ga.gov. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  8. ^ "Conservative groups split over child sex abuse legislation". myajc. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ "Senator Bill Cowsert Senate District 46" (PDF). Senate Press Office. January 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bill Cowsert's Biography". VoteSmart. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  11. ^ "Robert 'Bob' Argo, 92: Lawmaker was 'all Georgian, all the time'". ajc. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
Georgia State Senate
Preceded by
Ronnie Chance
Majority Leader of the Georgia Senate
2014–2019
Succeeded by
Mike Dugan
This page was last edited on 4 August 2020, at 22:04
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