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Arizona suing feds to keep school anti-mask mandate rules

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday he was filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department over a dispute regarding COVID-19 relief funds.

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is suing the Biden administration over its demand that the state stop sending millions in federal COVID-19 relief money to schools if they don’t have mask requirements or close due to COVID-19 outbreaks. 

The lawsuit filed in Phoenix federal court on Friday comes a week after the U.S. Treasury Department demanded that Ducey either restructure the $163 million program to eliminate restrictions it says undermine public health recommendations or pay back the money. 

"The Biden administration is attempting to hold Congressionally-appropriated funds hostage and is trying to bully Arizona into complying with this power-grabbing move,” Ducey said in a statement. 

The Treasury also wants changes to a $10 million program Ducey created that gives private school tuition money to parents if their children’s schools have mask mandates.

“Unconstitutional overreach by one branch of government over another’s directive should not and cannot get in the way of that,” the governor said.

RELATED: Ducey used federal COVID funds for several state agencies

RELATED: Treasury: Arizona risks relief funds over anti-mandate rules

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