After 30 years in office, Georgia State Representative Bob Lane is retiring.
Lane, (R-Statesboro), is Chairman of the House Game, Fish and Parks Committee. He has represented House District 158 since 1980, following in the footsteps of his father, Jones Lane, who held the seat for 20 years.
Part of what Bob Lane will miss is hearing the stories and memories from other representatives who shared with him their experiences in working with his father, who passed away while still in office, he said Monday.
"Thirty years is a long time," he said. "It' been a good 30 years. I'm not retiring for any one reason — it just felt like a good time."
A new representative can move into the position at a great time — there will be a new governor and "with new leadership, they can build a new relationship," he said. "There will be a new governor and the time seemed to be pretty good for (his retirement)."
On the heels of Lane's announcement that he is retiring, Bulloch County Commissioner Jan Tankersley announced she will step down from her county leadership position and qualify to run for Lane's position.
Tankersley said she expected to make the announcement today at the Bulloch County Commission meeting.
"It's something I have wanted to do for a long time," she said. "I feel I can do more for local government on the state level."
Lane said he will miss the action. "There have been a lot of good experiences, and I appreciate all the people who have supported me. It's been an education — a different kind of degree than you get in school."
Over the years, Lane rose through the ranks of House leadership. He first served as chairman of the House Industrial Relations Committee, where he played an active role in amending Georgia's worker's compensation laws reducing worker compensation rates for Georgia businesses and improving benefits for injured workers.
He later became the chairman of Game, Fish and Parks Committee, a chairmanship which he still holds today. Lane oversees the promotion, regulation and preservation of hunting and fishing and the operation of state parks and historical sites.
He is also vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Coordination Committee and serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and House Rules Committee. He previously served as vice chairman of the University System Committee and was chairman of the subcommittee of Appropriations on Higher Education. He also has served on Transportation and the Retirement Committees.
When he retired, Lane said he hopes to do more hunting and fishing as well as spending time with his two new grandchildren. "I hope to do more of what I want to do," he said. "Work more — I have a business to run and I really look forward to spending time with my family and grandchildren."
As a representative, Lane takes his sportsman roots and passion for wildlife seriously by authoring legislation helping pass sound conservation laws and policies. He supported and helped create legislation, making it a “right” to hunt and fish, not just a privilege.
Always a strong defender of the right to keep and bear arms, Lane authored and passed legislation to create an automated licensing system and later sponsored legislation to create a lifetime hunting license. He also created the “Bobwhite Quail Initiative” for the State of Georgia and sponsored or authored several other acts of legislation regarding wildlife, preservation, hunting and fishing.
Lane has also been a staunch supporter of Georgia Southern University and was a key member of the delegation that advocated funding for the university. His efforts led to the appropriation of more than $250 million during his tenure for university construction projects in his district.
Some of Lane's other legislative accomplishments include playing an active role in the creation of the Georgia Cotton Producers Indemnity Fund of 1999, creation of the Vidalia Onion district and the creation of the Statesboro Downtown Development Authority.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.