Lawmakers pass measures to curb executive emergency power

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By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services 

State legislators voted Thursday on multiple fronts to curb the power of the governor — this one and future ones — to declare and maintain an emergency.

With no discussion at all, the Senate gave preliminary approval to SCR 1001. If it gets final approval by the Senate and later by the House, it would immediately terminate the emergency that Gov. Doug Ducey declared nearly a year ago.

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The resolution, crafted by Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, states that the governor’s March 11 emergency order has interfered with individual rights. That specifically refers to the stay-at-home edicts he issued early in the Covid pandemic.

While those have been allowed to expire, Ugenti-Rita said other Ducey actions remain, including restrictions on how some businesses can operate. which she said have wreaked havoc on the economy.

Ducey could terminate the emergency on his own. But he has repeatedly insisted the need for him to assume the special powers remains.

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