Arizona legislator moves to end Gov. Ducey’s emergency declaration
PHOENIX – An Arizona Republican legislator introduced a measure Monday designed to end the state’s COVID-related emergency declaration that has been in place since last March.
State Rep. Bret Roberts’ resolution said the measure restricted and suppressed the individual freedoms and economic prosperity of Arizonans.
The move came in the opening session of the legislative session and the same day Gov. Doug Ducey delivered his annual State of the State address, during which he said Arizona was on the right path in its coronavirus efforts.
“I recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented situation in Arizona’s history, but the power to act unilaterally and infringe upon the freedom and liberty of Arizonans must have legislative oversight and review,” Roberts said in a press release.
“Now that the Legislature is back in session, it is incumbent upon us to work in collaboration with the Governor to find legislative solutions for the issues brought about by the pandemic. It’s time to stop relying upon emergency power to address these issues,” he said.
Republican State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita introduced similar legislation in December.
Ducey’s executive orders aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus. Businesses, gyms and movie theaters limited capacity and group gatherings were capped.
Ducey said during his address, the seventh of his tenure, “The critics can say what they want, but the path I’ve outlined is the right path for Arizona.”
He made it clear the state would be taking no further mitigation measures and would rely on the vaccine, which remains in limited supply and is being rationed to high-risk and high-priority populations, to bring the pandemic under control.
The state Department of Health Services reported Tuesday a record 335 additional deaths from COVID-19 and 8,559 new coronavirus cases.
Of the deaths added, 232 were identified through the death certificate matching process.
The state’s documented totals moved to 636,100 COVID-19 infections and 10,482 fatalities, according to the agency dashboard.