Governor Nathan Deal visited the House and Senate Thursday evening to congratulate legislators and wish them luck in their upcoming re-election battles. He also took a few minutes to respond to reporters questions, which focused on the Free Exercise Protection Act, HB 757.
The governor said he had listened to the concerns of both sides of the issue, however he declined to comment on the effects of the bill, or whether he thought the bill was discriminatory. Governor Deal told reporters,
I’m always concerned about the impact of any legislation. This has certainly been one that has attracted more attention than perhaps many others. But there are also other people who are citizens of our state, some of whom have been here for a very long time…who may share opposite opinions about this particular piece of legislation. It is a difficult piece of legislation, and is one that I am looking at very carefully.
The governor has until May 3rd to decide whether to sign or veto the legislation. He said that had not started to review any legislation passed to date. He said he “would try to act as expeditiously as possible,” especially on major pieces of legislation, but he refused to release a timetable.