The special legislative session set for the week after the election will not include any attempt to strip his successor’s executive powers, Gov. Nathan Deal said in an interview.
The Republican called the special session last week to provide roughly $100 million in hurricane relief to hard-hit areas of southwest Georgia, as well as potentially approve a jet-fuel tax break and fund a new airport training facility.
The rare maneuver sparked whispers that lawmakers could be asked to clip the wings of a new governor should Democrat Stacey Abrams win. Many point to North Carolina, where lawmakers passed measures to curtail Roy Cooper’s powers weeks after the Democrat narrowly won in the governor’s race.
Deal said such a move is not on the agenda “as far as I’m concerned.” Which means it won’t happen: State law lets governors strictly control the agenda that lawmakers consider.
“That is not what the special session is called for,” he added. “It’s for Hurricane Michael and for the impact on the southwest part of the state. We cannot pay for all the losses.”
Deal’s comments came during a joint interview on the campaign trail with Republican Brian Kemp, who is in a close race against Abrams. Kemp, who stumped with Deal at a string of stops on Monday, quickly cut in after the governor’s response.
“We’re not going to have that problem. We’re going to win,” Kemp said. “This race isn’t in doubt. That’s a problem we’re not going to have to worry about.”
More recent AJC coverage of the race for Georgia governor:
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