Measures to clip Arizona gov’s emergency powers are superior by GOP legislators – Arizona Day by day Star
Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, however, said this is not about stripping the governor of the power to declare an emergency. That would remain.
Instead, it would give lawmakers “a seat at the table” when deciding, after the immediate crisis passes, to review what the governor has done and determine whether a different course of action is appropriate.
“It’s bringing back a balance of power,” she told colleagues. “I don’t know why you would handicap yourselves.”
Most of the measures would have no immediate impact.
In fact, in a bid to avoid a gubernatorial veto, they were crafted as constitutional amendments that would go on the 2022 ballot. So the earliest the restrictions on future emergencies could take effect, assuming voter approval, would be the end of next year.
But lawmakers also took aim Monday at the current emergency, using the little bit of power they already have to end it.
Under the current law, an emergency continues until the governor decides it is no longer necessary or until both the House and Senate, by a simple majority, decide to override that action. SCR 1001, approved by the panel, would do just that — assuming it gets through the full legislative process.
“We have moved past an emergency into a chronic situation that needs to be handled in a different way,” Ugenti-Rita said.
Ducey declared the emergency on March 11. Since then, he has issued various orders dealing with everything from what hours individuals can be on the streets to how many customers certain businesses can serve.