Tucson says the vaccine mandate is working amid a legal battle with the state
TUCSON, Arizona (KOLD News 13) – Figures released by the City of Tucson show that, in his words, their vaccine mandate was successful
The city has vaccinated another 740 of its 3,957 employees since the mask mandate was passed on August 13, 2021.
When it started, about 63% of workers had at least one dose. Now that number is approaching 83%.
But while the city is boasting of its success in getting its workers to roll up their sleeves, the city is being sued by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who says the mandate violates state law.
He filed the lawsuit last week, saying the mandate was in violation of laws passed by the legislature in the evenings of the last session and attached to the balancing bills.
Whether that’s legal or not, Tucson is giving Tucson a chance while the issues are being litigated.
Tucson has suspended its sentences for violating the mandate, which could result in a five-day ineligibility for no pay.
But taking a break doesn’t mean the city will tip over, according to Ward 6 councilor Steve Kozachik.
“I think it is important that our employees and the public understand that with this break we are not saying that we are eliminating the notion of discipline,” he said. “I still believe our focus should be on protecting our employees.”
The council met in a closed session for an hour before instructing Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin to respond to all allegations made by the Attorney General and take any action necessary to comply with President Biden’s vaccine mandate.
The president announced last week that all federal employees and workers in companies with more than 100 employees must be vaccinated or tested weekly.
Brnovich is the first in the country to file a lawsuit against this mandate as well.
The rules are written by OSHA, but Brnovich says the rules are not his goal. He says the mandate itself is a government transgression.
The courts have promised to decide before September 29 whether state law is applicable to the city mandate.
In the meantime, the city will not punish those who do not comply, but will continue to persecute them. There are also plans to reward those who do so.
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