ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday that his office will close the State Archives in Morrow and lay off employees because of budget cuts sought by Gov. Nathan Deal.
The closure takes effect Nov. 1. Thereafter, Kemp says, the archives will be open only by appointment. The facility houses a range of historical records used by amateur and professional historians, genealogy researchers, librarians, students, attorneys, instructors and others.
The secretary did not say how many state employees will be let go or when their jobs will end. Kemp said he believes the move will make Georgia the only state in the country without an accessible archive that has regular hours.
Deal has ordered every state office to reduce spending by 3 percent for the remainder of the current budget year, which runs through June 30, 2013, and again in the following year. That totals almost $733,000 for Kemp’s office.
Kemp emphasized that those aren’t the first reductions in recent years. “These cuts do not eliminate excess in the agency, but require the agency to further reduce services to the citizens of Georgia,” he said.
A Deal spokesman noted that the governor’s order applies even to his own office.
“Outside of education funding, everything is on the table,” Brian Robinson said. “All agency heads face tough decisions, but it’s part of what we have to do to protect and best serve Georgia’s taxpayers.”
Both Kemp and Deal are Republicans elected in 2010.
Kemp said he sought to preserve other functions of his office: maintaining corporate records, running elections and overseeing professional licensing boards.
“We have tried to protect the services that the agency provides in support of putting people to work, starting small businesses, and providing public safety,” he said.