NEWS & ANALYSIS

Tucson Pauses Vaccine Mandate


Tucson, Arizona paused its vaccine mandate for employees after the state’s attorney general deemed it illegal. 

Mark Brnovich, the state’s attorney general, said the mandate – imposed last month – was illegal because it violated an executive order that Gov. Doug Ducey announced earlier this year. 

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

He warned Tucson officials that unless the mandate is revoked, he would proceed with directing the state treasurer to withhold the city’s portion of state shared revenue until officials halt the policy, the Epoch Times reports.

In response, Tucson officials said in a statement that they’ll pause the policy, at least temporarily. 

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, City Attorney Mike Rankin, and City Manager Michael Ortega also released statements Tuesday:

“It is deeply unfortunate, but not surprising, that the Attorney General is prioritizing his political ambitions over his responsibility to objectively interpret the law,” said Mayor Romero. “This report reads more as a campaign speech filled with political commentary rather than a fact-based legal opinion. We are currently reviewing our options, and Mayor and Council will need to provide direction as to how we proceed from here.”

City Attorney Mike Rankin noted the governor’s law is not effective until Sept. 29, but his team is evaluating the implications of Brnovich’s opinion that the city is violating a statute that does not yet have legal effect, per the Arizona Family.