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Kemp to Call Special Legislative Session in Light of Forthcoming Public Health Emergency Declaration

Kemp’s office also said the declaration will “constitute Georgia’s first ever public health emergency.”

Following President Trump’s national emergency declaration Friday, Governor Kemp’s office said the Governor will declare a public health emergency for the State of Georgia.

His office issued the following statement :

“Based on President Trump’s emergency declaration, I will declare a public health emergency for the State of Georgia tomorrow morning. This declaration will greatly assist health and emergency management officials across Georgia by deploying all available resources for the mitigation and treatment of COVID-19. In accordance with state law, I will call for a special session of the General Assembly to convene at the State Capitol at 8 AM on Monday, March 16, 2020 to ratify this action through a joint resolution.

“At this time, it is appropriate for faith-based organizations and similar entities to consider cancellation of public events and services. Contact your local public health office or consult official sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, for helpful guidance on decision-making. Elderly citizens and those with chronic, underlying health conditions face a serious threat to their health, and we must do everything in our power to reduce risk associated with this virus. Continue to support one another, be mindful of potential exposure, use best practices to prevent infection, and pray for your fellow Americans in the weeks ahead.”

Kemp’s office also said Kemp’s declaration will “constitute Georgia’s first ever public health emergency.” The applicable code section is O.C.G.A. 38-3-51.

The return to the Capitol for lawmakers follows the decision officials Thursday to halt legislative business. The Georgia General Assembly suspended the 2020 legislative session indefinitely after Friday, March 13, the 29th Legislative Day. The suspension, lawmakers said, was “out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of health and safety of members, staff and the public given the prevalence of the Coronavirus.” Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the House David Ralston mutually agreed to suspend the session and resume at a future date to be determined.

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