A state emergency order that gives Gov. Brian Kemp extraordinary powers to respond to the coronavirus pandemic is set to be extended to May 13, 30 days beyond its current expiration date.

The planned extension does not automatically extend Kemp’s statewide shelter-in-place order, which also is set to expire April 13, but would give him the power to do so.

The extension was announced by Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston in an April 8 press release. Under a previous agreement, the General Assembly will not have to convene to ratify the extension.

Kemp’s emergency powers under the order are extraordinary and open-ended, with such provisions as the ability to commandeer private property. So far, his main uses of the powers has involved shelter-in-place orders, non-essential business closures and a limited deployment of the Georgia National Guard.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.