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Romero, Pima County decry Gov. Ducey's Executive Order

Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 01:14:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Governor Doug Ducey issues an Executive Order which was met with a 'not so fast' by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and Pima County officials.

"When our local government has tried to act differently than the Governor, that has not been upheld by, at least our Superior Court Judge."

Stephen Portell has knowledge on the subject of local versus state authority, he's a lawyer of civil law or the laws we have to follow within the city and county.

Despite what he said, the City of Tucson's Attorney, Mike Rankin, said 1929 was the year the City's charter gave leaders in Tucson, their own powers to govern.

"The Mayor and Council, as a governing body have the authority to adopt ordinances that are necessary or expedient for the purpose of controlling or stopping the spread of infectious diseases."

Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the Mayor and Council passed a city-wide mask ordinance.

The debate between local and state authority goes on.

The question then turns to what businesses may or may not enforce.

"I have heard that it is easier for large and small businesses to require their guests and customers to wear a mask if the local authorities have mask mandates in place," Mayor Romero said.

It is the right of a private business to enforce rules on its own property, at least that's what Portell said.

"That private business owner has the ability to call and say 'this person's trespassing and they're violating our steps in protecting our employees and the people who come here to do business.'"

Both the City of Tucson and Pima County have said they will continue to enforce mask mandates.