New Georgia Legislation Would Let Churches and Businesses Stay Open During Health Emergency


Georgia State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas) this week introduced legislation that he said supports a church and a business owner’s rights to keep their establishments open during a pandemic like COVID-19 or other health emergency.

This, only if the business can abide by all of the mandated safety precautions that local and state governments issue, Anavitarte said.

“Small businesses and churches have shown remarkable ability and creativity to adapt their business to ensure they can comply with health guidelines and keep their businesses open,” Anavitarte said in a press release on the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

“The Georgia small business community, along with churches, appreciate Governor Kemp’s efforts to allow business to have that opportunity, and this bill will help give small businesses and churches the confidence they need as they make those decisions.”

According to the language of the bill, emergencies may include pandemics, epidemics, bioterrorism events, or the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin.

Anavitarte, in his press release, said his legislation will help many of the Peach State’s residents who attend church services.

“I am proud to be sponsoring legislation that continues to fight for churches and business owners in Georgia. This bill is especially important as it continues to support so many businesses and churches in my district across west Georgia, along with Latino-owned businesses across Georgia I have heard from, which have been hit hard by the pandemic,” Anavitarte said in the press release.

“Governor Kemp’s decision to reopen Georgia has made all the difference for some of these business owners and will ensure that they continue to remain open. As always, I am here to defend and will fight for the interests of my constituents, and this bill will allow me to do that by protecting small business owners and churches in their time of need.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]









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