Under the “Legal Considerations,” section of the ordinance, the city says Senate Bill 1824, which would have prohibited the city from requiring vaccines, was declared void and unenforceable after it was adopted by the State Legislature.
The appeal from the order is now pending before the Arizona Supreme Court, and a hearing is slated for Nov. 2.
Anni Foster, Ducey’s attorney, argued in the letter that only two sections of the bill had been deemed unconstitutional, excluding part of the bill, which states that an employer must make accommodations for employees whose sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from getting the vaccine, unless the accommodations would pose an undue hardship and more than a “de minimus” cost to the employer.
Additionally, Foster argued, the statute does not specify when an employee must provide that notice. And since the city has already provided some accommodations for religious or disability reasons, she wrote, it’s unclear how there would be any “undue hardship” for others who request exemptions for those reasons.
Romero gave the following response in a statement on Wednesday:
“It is deeply unfortunate not just for Tucsonans, but all Arizonans that Governor Ducey is more interested in playing politics with the vaccine than taking any action whatsoever to protect public health. This is just another politically motivated attempt to micromanage Tucson and deflect from his utter failure to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is safe, widely available, and effective. Please do your part to protect yourself and fellow community members by getting vaccinated.”