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Arizona educators file for injunction to block bills that ban mask, vaccine mandates

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Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 13:49:20-04

PHOENIX — Several Arizona educators have filed a motion for an injunction aimed to block bills that ban face mask and vaccine mandates in public schools and universities.

United Campus Workers of Arizona (UCWAZ) says the motion was filed to get a ruling on the case before the laws go into effect on September 29.

According to a release, "a motion for a preliminary injunction [is] aimed at declaring HB 2898, SB 1824, SB 1825, and SB 1819 unconstitutional."

The organization added that it supports the lawsuit as the law's provisions banning mask and vaccine mandates "will do serious and irreparable harm to its members, who include workers at higher education institutions across the state."

Laurie Stoff, who represents UCWAZ, declared her support for the injunction stating the bill would harm union members if allowed to go in effect.

"If this legislation is permitted to stand, I, along with the membership of UCWAZ, the other faculty and staff at our universities, our students, as well as our families, and the larger communities where we work and live, will be exposed to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Many will be at risk of serious illness or death," Stoff said.

The organization argues the laws prohibiting mask and vaccination mandates in public schools and universities are unconstitutional because they violate the state constitution.

Richard Newhauser, one of UCWAZ's members, is part of the group that filed the lawsuit who shared his concerns over the bills.

“I am not only worried about my own health and safety; I am worried about the safety of my friends, colleagues, and students. None of them should be faced with the prospect of working in a riskier environment due to this unconstitutional law. Nor should my colleagues and friends be faced with the prospect of bringing infection home to their spouses, children, or aged parents,” Newhauser said.