2 more bills targeting COVID rules head to Ducey’s desk

File photo of Gov. Ducey.
File photo of Gov. Ducey.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:01 PM MST
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PHOENIX (AP) -- Two more bills restricting responses to the coronavirus pandemic are heading to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk. The state Senate approved a bill forbidding state and local governments from requiring masks in their buildings. The GOP-led Senate also voted to block the state from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of inoculations schoolchildren must receive to attend public school. They are the latest moves by GOP lawmakers to limit what they have called government overreach. Democrats opposed the bills and said they take away effective public infection control measures.

Earlier this month, Ducey also signed legislation limiting the pandemic powers of the next governor. The bill requires the future governor to get approval from the legislature to extend a public health emergency declaration for longer than 120 days. The measure doesn’t go into effect until Ducey leaves office.

In April, Ducey also signed two bills regarding COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates. The first bill banned schools from mandating masks for students under 18 unless they get the OK from parents. The second bill prohibited state or local governments from requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Ducey has previously said he encourages Arizonans to mask up and get vaccinated, but is against government mandates.

Arizona’s Family news staff contributed to this report.

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