Sen. Leach drops request to investigate Tucson’s vaccine mandate

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services  

 Tucson is no longer in danger of being financially penalized for its vaccine mandate program. 

Sen. Vince Leach, R-Tucson, has withdrawn his request that Attorney General Mark Brnovich investigate whether part of the city’s policy of requiring all employees to be inoculated runs counter to state law. The move most immediately means that Tucson avoids the threat of having Brnovich order the state treasurer to withhold more than $100 million in state revenue sharing dollars. 

But Leach told Capitol Media Services on Monday the underlying issue is far from dead. He said that other pending federal litigation over vaccine mandates overshadows — and could ultimately affect — his specific complaint about the refusal of the city to grant religious exemptions to any worker who seeks one. 

Leach isn’t the only one who apparently has given up on forcing Tucson to alter its policies. An aide to Gov. Doug Ducey said there has been no follow up to a complaint sent to the city last month by Anni Foster, the governor’s legal counsel, warning Tucson that what it was doing runs afoul of a new state law that took effect on Sept. 29. 

All of that means Tucson can continue its mandate without fear of financial penalty — and it need not alter how it deals with requests for religious exemptions — at least for now. 

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