Kemp said the decision was one of the toughest he's had to make, but it was "one that was least impactful to Georgians."
The Athens Banner-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/OQpspF) that Kemp made the comments Monday night at the Athens-Clarke County Republican Party meeting.
Kemp last month announced plans to lay off state workers and give limited, appointment-only access to the archives in Morrow, where Georgia keeps records dating to its founding in 1733. The changes are to take effect Nov. 1.
Scholars, amateur historians and genealogists have protested the move, which Kemp says was forced by budget cuts.