(The Center Square) – The first resolution filed in the Arizona Legislature is aimed squarely at removing Gov. Doug Ducey’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001 would immediately void the governor’s ongoing series of executive orders, including other orders that draw their authority from the emergency declaration originally enacted on March 11.
The fact that it’s in resolution form is significant. Should it pass both chambers of the Legislature, Ducey would not have the ability to veto it as he would with legislation.
“COVID-19 is a health crisis, not an emergency,” said Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, who pre-filed the resolution Wednesday. “Whether it is developing and implementing proper mitigation strategies for schools and businesses, or distributing funds to support our hospitals and nursing homes – all of this can be dealt with in a transparent and meaningful way using the legislative process. We do not need to live under a perpetual state of emergency in order to successfully manage Covid-19.”
Ducey responded to questions about the resolution.
“We’ve got letters of advice on all of the industries that should be shut down, and we’ve got letters that are coming in the middle, the height, of the pandemic, lifting the emergency order,” he said. “What we’re focused on are our health care providers, our hospitals, and these vaccinations. That’s our priority and that’s what’s most important.”
Ducey’s office has faced multiple challenges to the legality of his extended emergency declaration, including one from a group of bar owners that’s before the state Supreme Court.
Ugenti-Rita held a meeting of the ad hoc Committee on Legislative Oversight of Emergency Executive Powers earlier this month that explored the authority in which Ducey could keep his restrictions in place.