State legislator wants to know if there’s a middle ground in repealing Ducey’s emergency order

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills./ Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

A Republican lawmaker wants the attorney general to weigh in on whether the legislature can rescind Gov. Doug Ducey’s emergency declaration for the COVID-19 outbreak without triggering some unintended consequences.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, submitted an opinion request to Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Monday regarding the emergency declaration for COVID-19 that Ducey issued in March 2020. The legislature has the power to repeal a gubernatorial emergency declaration with a majority vote in each chamber, without the governor’s signature. Kavanagh’s seatmate, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, is hoping to do just that. 

But Kavanagh has some questions he wants answered before that happens. The veteran legislator wants to know whether the legislature can modify the governor’s emergency declaration and the other steps he’s taken under the aegis of that order, and whether the legislature can make Ducey’s use of his emergency powers contingent on other factors, such as the number of coronavirus infections in Arizona or the availability of hospital beds.

Ducey has used the authority of his emergency declaration to issue myriad other executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as limiting indoor dining at restaurants and barring evictions for nonpayment of rent, among others. 

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