TUCSON, AZ – Tuesday, the Arizona Attorney General’s office announced that the City of Tucson’s mandate for all city employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination violated state law.
AG Mark Brnovich said that in addition to violating the state’s law, the mandate goes against Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order. He said the city must rescind the order, or amend it, or face losing state funding.
Ducey’s order said, “Any county, city, town or political subdivision official that implements a vaccine mandate contrary to the authorities outlined in this order is in violation of A.R.S. 36-114, and 36-184 and such actions are punishable by a class 3 misdemeanor and subject to legal action by individuals for violation of their rights under Arizona law.”
Last month, Tucson told city employees that they had to show proof of receiving the COVID-19 shot by August 24 or be suspended for five days without pay.
If the employee still wasn’t vaccinated after the suspension, they could receive higher insurance premiums.
The AG’s office said, “We have found that the city’s ordinance violates state law and also is in direct conflict with the governor’s executive order.
“Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal, and the city could be held liable for attempting to force employees to take it against their beliefs. COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.”
If Tucson doesn’t rescind or amend the mandate within 30 days, the AG said, “the AGO will notify the Arizona Treasurer, who will withhold the city’s portion of state shared revenue until it comes into compliance.”
This is said to amount to millions of dollars.
“Additionally,” the AG’s office stated, “the AGO believes the City of Tucson could subject itself to potential liability claims if it were to take adverse action against an employee who relies on E.O. 2021-18 and state law to refuse the vaccine.”