House passes sharp limits on states of emergency, as COVID-19 emergency status continues

 Gov. Doug Ducey announces a new executive order in response to the rising COVID-19 cases in the state during a news conference in Phoenix June 29, 2020. Ducey ordered the closing of bars, gyms, theaters, waterparks and tubing. /Photo by Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic /Pool photo

By Gloria Gomez | Arizona Mirror   

House Republicans approved severe limits on states of emergency, in a clear move against proclamations made during the pandemic. 

Arizona has been in a state of emergency because of COVID-19 since March of 2020, which has allowed Gov. Doug Ducey to mobilize efforts to support vaccination and monitoring of the virus, as well as receive $2 trillion in federal CARES Act money. 

State law currently doesn’t limit how long a state of emergency can last. The legislation that cleared the state House of Representatives on Wednesday would limit that to just 14 days — unless the governor calls a special session of the legislature to determine what actions to take next and whether or not to extend the state of emergency.

House Bill 2471, which passed on a 31-28 vote, places much stiffer limits on states of emergency than a Senate proposal that won approval in the upper chamber earlier this month. That bill would allow emergency declarations to stand for a total of 120 days in 30 day increments before expiring. 

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