Earl Day Ehrhart (born August 8, 1959) is an American politician from the state of Georgia. As of 2007, he is a Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives representing District 36, which encompasses parts of western Cobb County.
Born in Miami, Florida, Ehrhart has lived in Cobb since 1964 and resides in Powder Springs. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1980. While there, he was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha the national political science honor society, as well as a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.
Ehrhart was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1988 and served 8 years as the Minority Whip.
He served as Chairman of the House Rules Committee until January 2010, and is a member of the following committees:
- Banks and banking committee
- States institutions and property
In 2005 Ehrhart was elected as the National Chairman of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He is also a member of the National Republican Legislator Association.
In 1990, the National Federation of Independent Business named Ehrhart the "Guardian of Small Business", due to his work in Georgia. He also received the "Champion of the Free Enterprise System Award" from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia. He also received awards from the Medical Association of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, The Twenty Second Air Force Reserve, and the Georgia Federation of Young Republicans.
He and his family are members of McEachern United Methodist Church. Ehrhart is a member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the Cobb County Youth Soccer Association, the Oregon Park Baseball Association and he is a contributor to both the Cobb County performing arts and the Powder Springs Youth Association. He has served on the Powder Springs Downtown Development Association. Ehrhart is also a member of the West Cobb Rotary Club, The Cobb County chamber of commerce, the Honorary Commanders Association, is an Honorary Safety Fire Commissioner, and the District Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America representing the Covered Bridge District. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of the Facility Group, Inc. an architectural and engineering firm located in Smyrna, Georgia.
In 2005, Ehrhart co-sponsored a bill that overhauled Georgia's child support guidelines. The bill (House Bill 221) was made law April 22, 2005.
In 2007, Ehrhart urged passage of a bill that would have legalized payday lending in Georgia. The Georgia legislature narrowly defeated the measure.
In 2009, regulators shut down Georgian Bank. Ehrhart was on the board of directors of this bank. The bank was founded in 2001 and became very profitable during the housing boom. However, it suffered losses when the real estate market collapsed.
In 2016, Ehrhart involved himself in a feud with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Citing the school's expulsion of a student who was found responsible of sexual assault, appealed, and still found responsible, he claimed that "taking away a $47 million Taj Mahal (the school had proposed a library expansion) is not going to harm the students."
In 2017, Ehrhart co-sponsored Georgia House Bill 51, which requires all non-privileged college employees to report any suspected felonies to law enforcement, with the intention of protecting those who are falsely accused of sexual assault. This bill received backlash from students who assert that the bill simply removes choice from rape victims and does nothing to protect the falsely accused. Advocates for the falsely accused disagreed, asserting that the bill would take rape investigations out of the campus disciplinary system and into the judicial process "where [the accused] has rights too." At the bill's first subcommittee hearing on Feb 1, 2017, Ehrhart compared the need for the bill to To Kill A Mockingbird. At the bill's second subcommittee hearing on Feb 23, 2017, students in the audience attempted to disrupt the presentation by an advocate for the falsely accused, which prompted Ehrhart to demand order by insisting "this is a macro-aggressive environment; if you feel triggered, trigger somewhere else."