He opted instead to promote guidance from his office that strongly urged houses of worship to maintain social distancing or risk further restrictions. If they fail to comply, he said during a private call in April with more than 800 clergy members, the state could shut them down.
But he never took that action and, more recently, has talked of ways to ensure that no future governor has to deal with same prickly questions about limiting religious worship.
Other pending legislation could also influence how broadly Kemp and future governors can use the emergency powers, which give his administration the ability to suspend state laws, take “direct” control of civil staffers, restrict travel and limit public gatherings.
State Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, introduced legislation this week that requires lawmakers to approve any extension of a governor’s powers during a state of emergency.