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Mayor extends emergency declaration for City of Tucson

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 20:40:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Mayor Regina Romero extended her emergency declaration into early June. That means city buildings will stay closed for now.

“He has been very clear about cities, towns and counties doing something different,” said Mayor Regina Romero.

Mayor Romero says an earlier proclamation by Governor Ducey limits her power to issue orders beyond his, but her emergency declaration extension does keep city buildings under her control closed until June 8th.

“It is based on what scientific modeling has given us.”

Mayor Romero says her proclamation does not include added regulations, but it does endorse Pima County’s new regulations on restaurants and businesses. The county is being sued by some lawmakers alleging the county code went beyond the governor’s orders, but Romero says she does not expect a legal challenge for the city.

“Our city attorney does not foresee those challenges,” she said. “The Pima County Health Department is responsible for the public health of all of our communities and the city of Tucson sits of course on Pima County.”

Councilman Steve Kozachik says he supports the mayor’s proclamation saying the regulations from the county only serve to clarify the governor’s orders. Specifying what businesses need to do to follow CDC regulations.

“The governor should have offered that level of specificity,” said Kozachik. “The county did, we signed on to it, and I don’t think that justifies any kind of litigation.”

The mayor says the extension will allow the city to set up safety protocols like face coverings and wellness checks before opening city buildings on June 8th.

“That’s when we imagine the playgrounds will be open and the zoo will be open once again.”

The proclamation also included a moratorium on water disconnects and public housing evictions through June.