The Georgia General Assembly announced yesterday, March 12, that the legislative session will be suspended indefinitely after today, March 13.
The suspension is out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health and safety of members, staff and the public is given the prevalence of the coronavirus. Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the House David Ralston have mutually agreed to suspend the session and resume at a future date to be determined.
“We continue to urge calm and appropriate responses to the coronavirus situation. However, the current environment demands that we take additional preventative action,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Speaker Ralston and I are working diligently to ensure that, at the appropriate time, the General Assembly resumes its critically important work.”
“We do not take this action lightly, but after discussions with Governor Kemp, we feel this is a prudent measure which will ensure an orderly legislative session,” said Speaker David Ralston. “I appreciate very much the cooperation of Lt. Governor Duncan, and working together, our House and Senate stand ready to support the state’s response to the coronavirus. We look forward to resuming the legislative session and returning to the people’s business.”
The House and Senate will reconvene for the 30th Legislative Day at a future date and time to be set by Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston under the terms of the joint adjournment resolution adopted by both chambers.
Earlier yesterday, both the House and Senate adopted the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 state budget. That budget includes $100 million in funding to address any coronavirus-related needs which may arise.
During the press Thursday afternoon press conference, Governor Brian Kemp announced a call to action for Georgia’s educational institutions. He went on to note that the Capitol would not close and that he was not declaring a state of emergency for Georgia.
“I would tell Georgians out there that I’m not unilaterally making these decisions,” Kemp stated. “I’m conferring with the experts. You have a lot of experts and a lot of people that are really smart working on this issue, and we’ll continue to follow the facts and the science in our decision-making process.”
“I hope this thing is overblown, but if it’s not, we’ve got to do everything we can to protect our elderly loved ones and those who are especially at risk from dying from this disease,” Kemp stated during the conference.