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Kemp frees up funds for coronavirus, names task force committees
Governor transfers $19.5 million for COVID-19 response
Coronavirus Team
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and the state’s coronavirus task force take part in a video conference with Vice President Mike Pence and other federal officials Monday morning, March 2, 2020, in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday ordered more than $19.5 million transferred from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to go toward the state’s response to coronavirus.

Before suspending the 2020 legislative session last week because of the pandemic, the General Assembly added $100 million at the governor’s request to the mid-year state budget to deal with the crisis. The governor signed the spending plan earlier this week.

The money will help the state Department of Public Health and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency buy medical supplies and equipment.

Also on Friday, Kemp filled out the rosters of four committees he announced last month when he formed a Coronavirus Task Force of state agency heads, legislators, business leaders, health care executives and other subject matter experts. Separately, the committees will address the economic impact of coronavirus, emergency preparedness, primary care providers and how coronavirus is affecting Georgia’s homeless.

"In February, we formed the Coronavirus Task Force with a focus on preparing for COVID-19 and its effects,” Kemp said. "Now, as we mitigate the spread of the virus, these committees will address the specific impacts that COVID-19 will have on communities, industry sectors, our health-care system, and emergency preparedness.

“I have full confidence in these committees to serve the needs of all Georgians during this challenging time. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to ensure that our state stands ready for any scenario."

State Fiscal Economic Jeffrey Dorfman will chair the task force’s Economic Impact Committee. Georgia Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, who is a physician, will head the Primary Care Provider Committee.

John King, the state’s insurance commissioner, will chair the Emergency Preparedness Committee. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will lead the Committee for the Homeless and Displaced.