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Mary Margaret Oliver - State House 56
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Mary Margaret Oliver

Biography

Mary Margaret Oliver, a native Georgian from DeKalb County, served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987-1992 and was then elected to the State Senate, where she served three terms. In July, 1998, Oliver left the Senate to run for Lieutenant Governor and finished first, ahead of six Democratic challengers. She lost in a runoff to the second place finisher. In 2003, Oliver was elected to the House where she continues to serve, representing the 82nd District.

When Oliver was elected to the Senate, she was appointed to chair the Judiciary Committee during her freshman term, a rare legislative distinction. The appointment was also notable in that it marked the first time in 40 years that a woman had been named to chair a standing Senate committee. During the 2004 session, she was appointed Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, becoming the first person to serve as Chair of both House and Senate Judiciary Committees and the first woman to ever serve as Chair of either committee.

Oliver currently sits on the House Appropriations, Judiciary, Governmental Affairs, Juvenile Justice and Science and Technology Committees. She has been appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to the Committee on Justice for Children and by Governor Nathan Deal to the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform.

Oliver's legislative accomplishments have included authoring and passing significant legislation for the protection of children and consumers, including Georgia's anti-stalking law, along with legislation to protect neighborhood activists from intimidation. In addition, she has authored thirty general business and legally related bills. In 2012, she sponsored a bill expanding the definition of mandated reporters of child abuse. The language of her bill was incorporated into the comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform bill which passed and was signed into law.

She has been honored for her legislative work, being named Woman of Achievement by the Atlanta YWCA and Legislator of the Year by the Garden Club of Georgia. In 2011, she was given the Common Cause Democracy Award and the Georgia Conservation Voters Legacy Award.

Oliver is a long time member of the Decatur Rotary and All Saints Episcopal Church, where she teaches Sunday school.

She earned a BA from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from Emory University. From 2001 to 2009, she was a visiting professor at the Barton Child Law and Policy Center at Emory. In 2011, in honor of the 175th anniversary of Emory, Oliver was one of 30 women out of 175 or so Emory History Makers - those individuals who have shown courageous and ethical leadership on behalf of the greater community and a legacy of imparting knowledge to others and making significant contributions to the life at Emory.

Oliver currently practices law in Decatur.

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