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Friday, January 3, 2014 - 10:15am

Former State Senator Returns To Capitol As A Lobbyist For History

A former longtime state lawmaker is returning to the Capitol as a lobbyist for history.

Americus Democrat George Hooks served 32 years in the State Senate.

He's now on the payroll of three groups promoting Georgia history. The Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Humanities Council and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation have hired Hooks.

All three groups have specific goals for the one-time dean of the State Senate. The main goal is state funding.

Hooks says each of the groups relies in part on state appropriations or tax breaks.

"They, basically, have never had any one person in the halls of the Capitol," Hooks says. "They have depended on volunteers. And a lot of the issues that they advocate have gone on deaf ears."

Hooks says, while the three groups are paying him, he'll also lobby for other historical causes, including the state's 150th anniversary events for the Civil War.

"The main focus of all three groups is that they've really never had a person at the Capitol advocating for the preservation of our state's history, historical records and buildings," Hooks says.

Hooks isn't new to historical lobbying. As a lawmaker, he played central roles in controversies over funding of the Georgia Archives and the design of the state flag.

He recently resigned as a member of the University System Board of Regents after serving less than a year.

Hook said he wanted to avoid a potential conflict of interest with his new job.

The Regents oversee the state's historic archive.