Vaccinations should be a choice’: Attorney general says Tucson mandate violates state law

Arizona’s Attorney General said Tuesday that the City of Tucson’s recently passed COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates state law, calling for it to be repealed/Posted by KGUN/Facebook.

By Ray Stern, Stacey Barchenger Arizona Republic

Tucson city employees are subject to disciplinary procedures and possibly a five-day suspension if they do not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tucson cannot force its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine and the city puts millions of dollars of state revenue at risk if it continues to enforce a mandate handed down by the City Council last month, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Tuesday.

“Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal and the city could be held liable for attempting to force government employees to take it against their beliefs,” Brnovich said in a released statement. “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.”

If the city does not rescind or amend the policy within 30 days, it could lose state revenue dollars, Brnovich’s office said.

The attorney general’s finding is the latest in a back-and-forth battle over COVID-19 safety measures between the city, state lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey’s office. 

It also allows Brnovich, a Republican running for his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate race, to capitalize on divisive vaccine policy that favors personal choice over the advice of public health experts.

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