Cobb County lawmaker Matt Dollar resigned. Here’s why

Veteran Georgia Rep. Matt Dollar of Marietta resigned from the House Tuesday to take a job as deputy commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Elected in 2002 at age 24, the Republican went on to become the youngest committee chairman in the General Assembly.

Until Tuesday, he was serving as chairman of the House Creative Arts and Entertainment Committee. In that role, he steered legislation through the House two years ago that brought Georgia’s popular film tax credit under greater scrutiny, a move aimed at strengthening the credit by responding to arguments that the program was vulnerable to abuse.

This year, Dollar is the chief sponsor of legislation calling for a referendum to create a city of East Cobb. The measure cleared the House last week and has moved over to the state Senate.

In an emotional farewell speech Tuesday, Dollar said he’s sad to be leaving his friends in the House, including many from the other side of the aisle.

“Some of my closest friends have been Democrats,” he said. “I don’t apologize for that. … This place has taught me that those who show the most respect are the most respected.”

The new House map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly last fall put Dollar in the same House district as Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta. Dollar’s departure clears the way for her to seek reelection without a divisive primary against a fellow GOP incumbent.

At the technical college system, Dollar will be in charge of working on economic development issues.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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