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AZ Attorney General: 'Tucson's COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates state law'

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Posted at 9:58 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 13:44:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — 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Tuesday that the City of Tucson's recently passed COVID-19 vaccine mandate violates state law, calling for it to be repealed.

In a statement sent to KGUN 9, Mark Brnovich said if Tucson does not amend the ordinance, it could lose millions in state funding.

“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,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.”

The Attorney General's Office says it has officially notified the City, saying it has 30 days to comply.

"The legislature’s intent was clear when it passed S.B. 1824 earlier this year – government entities from the local to state level cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccines. This law was further supplemented by the Governor’s Executive Order 2021-18 (E.O. 2021-18) in August 2021.In the AGO’s opinion, Tucson public employees could rely in good faith on E.O. 2021-18 and state law to refuse the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate," said the AGO.

READ: Gov. Ducey's full executive order on vaccine mandates

The Tucson City Council voted to require city employees to be vaccinated on Aug. 15, 2021, in a 6-1 vote.