On Thursday, Arizona legislators were warned by Senate President Karen Fann that they should think twice before challenging Governor Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home executive order extension. Fann advised legislators that any resolution to end the executive order would cost the state millions in federal dollars.
On Apr 30, 2020, at 6:57 AM, Karen Fann <KFann@azleg.gov<mailto:KFann@azleg.gov>> wrote:
Before everyone weighs in on this email, I would like to relay some information we found out yesterday from legal counsel. If this resolution passes, the Governor’s emergency declaration will end. That means Arizona will get to keep the Covid money we have received to date but will NOT be entitled to all the millions of FEMA or DEMA funds. In addition, all of the emergency declarations the governor has passed over the past few weeks will end immediately…. these include things like state income tax deferral to July 15th; protections for our constituents from evictions, etc., etc……etc.
At the same time, in an appearance on KFYI’s James T. Harris show, House Majority Leader Warren Petersen said he was encouraging lawmakers to join him in passing just such a resolution:
“I think it’s time to do that,” said Petersen of passing a resolution, “I’ve shared that with my colleagues, and I’m counting votes and I think we have a majority of Republicans who are willing to do that.”
“You’re not going to get any of the Democrats,” said Petersen referring to a resolution, “that’ just not going to happen because they benefit from a cratering economy, because I guess that is a wonderful thing for them.”
It is not a wonderful thing for Arizona’s small businesses and in response to Ducey’s decision to extend the order, the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors called on the Arizona Legislature to take action and end the lock down.
The Chamber noted in its message that “while Title 26 of Arizona Revised Statutes – Military Affairs and Emergency Management gives great latitude to the governor in declaring and managing an “emergency”, it also “gives deference to the Legislature to end that latitude. As it relates to policy, reliance on the myopic view of health officials based only on COVID-19 and ignoring all else that matters in the State of Arizona is shortsighted and needs re-evaluation.”
While no one would want to lose federal funding, small business owners want to get back to work in part because the promised federal funding (PPP) is virtually unavailable due to the fact that large corporations snapped it up and drained the fund before small business had a chance. A second round of funding was approved by Congress, but at this point small business owners fear that they will be past the point of recovery waiting for those funds.
The out-of-work employees of those small business owners are stuck waiting for funds as well. Ducey announced this week that unemployment benefits will not be available until May 12.
This week, the ranks of Arizona’s unemployed rose to 470,000.
In his press conference on Wednesday, Ducey made it clear that should anyone violate his order they will face fines and possibly jail time. Yet, small business owners are reportedly planning on rebelling on Friday by opening their businesses in defiance of Ducey.