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UPDATE: AZ Supreme Court doubles down on decision to overturn governor’s COVID laws

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - We’re hearing from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) for the first time after a judge struck down laws that would have prevented schools and local governments from requiring masks in class. Under the governor's order, there had been a ban on making masks mandatory. Until now.

He spoke at a National Governors Association conference Wednesday afternoon.

“This was at the superior court level, we also have an appellate court, and a supreme court and they will have their say.”

Gov. Ducey says he’s talking to his counsel about the next steps.

But on Wednesday morning, the state’s supreme court doubled down on that Maricopa County court decision. Once again, making it legal for schools to require masks.

Most school districts in Yuma County highly recommend the use of masks indoors as well as physical distance, but don’t require it even though some schools in Phoenix and Tucson do.

The laws would have made enforcing masks in school illegal, but the judge ruled the laws were unconstitutional. This means if they do want to enforce a mask mandate they won’t get into any legal trouble.

“It would be dangerous to think that all communities are the same, right, we have different levels of covid different instances different hospitalization numbers in different communities, so I think putting a ban on that in all communities is, it's just dangerous.”

Carol Smith is a local nurse.

“One of them chooses to wear his mask now and the other one she's, you know a little bit more lackadaisical about it.” Most importantly this nurse is also a mom. “If I ask them to wear a mask or the school district to wear a mask that they trust me and the people guiding everyday. We're aiming to get our own sense of normalcy back," she added.

Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested to have this week's ruling put on hold, but the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against that.

“They refuse to render a decision on blocking it, and they will look at it on Monday,” said state Rep. Fernandez.

The Arizona ruling also struck down a number of non-virus provisions that were slipped into the state budget.

State Representative Charlene Fernandez says these provisions were never even brought up for discussion at the capitol.

“We didn't discuss it, we didn't debate on it we didn't hear from teachers or parents, it was like they just stuck it in the budget. And the reality is this is no way to run a government,” she added.

There are a number of school districts across the state that have gone against the governor's law even before it was brought to court. This includes Arizona Western College that imposed a mask mandate during indoor activities.

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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

You can contact Cody at cody.lee@kecytv.com.

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