PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that his office (AGO) determined the City of Tucson's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public employees does violate state law for purposes of S.B. 1487, and also is in direct conflict with the Governor's Executive Order 2021-18. Therefore, Tucson must rescind or amend the ordinance to come into compliance with state law, or lose millions of dollars in state funding.
"Tucson's vaccine mandate is illegal, and the city could be held liable for attempting to force employees to take it against their beliefs," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate."
Through a "S.B. 1487" investigation, the AGO determined Tucson's Ordinance 11869, which mandates COVID-19 vaccines for city employees, violates state law and thus the city cannot require public employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine. The legislature's intent was clear when it passed S.B. 1824 earlier this year – government entities from the local to state level cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccines. This law was further supplemented by the Governor's Executive Order 2021-18 (E.O. 2021-18) in August 2021.In the AGO's opinion, Tucson public employees could rely in good faith on E.O. 2021-18 and state law to refuse the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.