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Arizona AG orders Tucson to rescind vaccine mandate for city employees; says it violates state law

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Tucson must rescind its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public employees or else lose millions in state funding.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Tuesday that the city of Tucson needs to rescind their mandate for city employees to be vaccinated due to the requirement violating state law. 

Tucson's mayor Regina Romero announced the mandate in August, requiring public employees to submit proof that they had received at least one dose by Aug. 24 or face a five-day suspension without pay.

Brnovich said Tucson's mandate is also in direct conflict with the governor's executive order against vaccine and mask mandates. The state is ordering Tucson to rescind or amend the ordinance to comply with state law or else "lose millions of dollars in state funding."

RELATED: Tucson to require city employees be vaccinated against COVID-19

“Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal and the city could be held liable for attempting to force employees to take it against their beliefs,” Brnovich said in a news release. “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.”

The state determined Tucson's city council exploited a loophole in the governor's order that delayed the law from going into effect until September 29, 2021.

Arizona’s second-largest city directly employs more than 2,200 people, according to career website Zippia.

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