AZ GOP Limits COVID-19 Executive Powers of Governor

Its about time, more states should have done this same process. Governors fucked their states by trying to be mini-dictators.

Source: Washington Examiner

May 22, 2020

On a party-line vote, House Republicans passed a bill that would lessen penalties for disobeying Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive orders as well as give businesses legal protections should someone sue for COVID-19 related damages.

John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, sponsored the bill. A similar bill awaits consideration in the state Senate.

House Bill 2912, should it be enacted, would remove the criminal penalties for those found to have disobeyed any executive order related to a pandemic and replace them with civil penalties of no more than a $100 fine. Currently, a violation of an executive order is a misdemeanor that carries a larger fine and a prison sentence. They would also have 24 hours to correct the issue before they can be fined.

It would raise the standard of liability for businesses to “gross negligence,” an action more deliberate than the current standard.

“It’s not only lawsuits that we’re trying to prevent. We’re also trying to prevent the type of extortion by unscrupulous lawyers that occurred with the Americans with Disability Act, lawyers who trolled neighborhoods, filed lawsuit motions not to go to court but with the express intent of basically extracting settlement.”

John Kavanagh
R-Fountain Hills

The bill also would keep state licenses from being removed for disobeying an executive order.

Democrats defended the governor’s executive authorities, saying they provide essential protections for workers that businesses may not otherwise offer unless required.

“As consumers go back into the community, we need to focus on protections to keep them safe,”

Athena Salman
D – Tempe

The ACLU of Arizona opposes the bill, saying it strips the rights of workers.

“Amidst this unprecedented public health and economic crisis, the Arizona legislature has chosen to prioritize protecting businesses and bad actors whose negligence and refusal to follow safety guidelines causes their employees and customers to get sick, and possibly die, from COVID-19”


Others argued that the measure would give businesses some hope of surviving the months-long forced closures.

“When the government can say that you have to close up shop or they will take your license for trying to feed your family, then there’s something wrong,”

John Fillmore
R – Apache Junction

Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, argued that small businesses should be able to decide whether they should be open while protecting themselves and their community.

“When this started, you had the big box stores open because they felt they could handle this properly while mom-and-pops were told to close. That’s not how it should be. Let the consumer decide who stays open.”

Leo Biasiucci
R – Lake Havasu City

The bill needs Senate approval, but the chamber remains out of session for the time being.

AZ GOP Limits COVID-19 Executive Powers of Governor