City of Tucson moves forward with vaccine mandate

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The city of Tucson voted unanimously this afternoon to move ahead with its vaccine mandate after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that a series of laws passed by the Republican led state legislature were unconstitutional.

Judge Katherine Cooper said the lawmakers violated their own law which stipulates that any bill must contain one subject only.

The lawmakers, with Republican votes only, added the mask and vaccine mandate prohibitions to a series of budget bills.

Under the mandate, which the city had put on pause after being sued by the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to stop it, city employees will be required to wear a mask while on duty and be tested weekly.

“We do have to take immediate step towards protecting the health and safety of our workers,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “And to the public which they serve.”

The city has also received more than 500 requests for medical or religious exemptions, of which some have been determined to be valid and some not.

Those determined to be invalid will have 72 hours to make an appointment and get vaccinated or face disciplinary action.

Same with police and fire. The disciplinary action will be determined by the police chief and fire chief.

The largest number of employees who have not been vaccinated are in police and fire but they are the two largest departments in the city.

Still, their percentages are far below most other departments.

For those who refuse to be vaccinated, they will also be denied training needed for promotions nor will they be allowed to travel.

The city is also asking the lawsuit filed by Brnovich be abandoned, but he has indicated he will appeal the lower courts decision.

The city will continue to pause it’s disciplinary actions, such as a five day suspension without pay, until the legal issues are finally settled.

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