For some time now, many of us observers of the way our government operates have been clamoring for the AZ legislature to get back to work and do the job they were elected to do. We are finally seeing some significant movement in that direction, and we the people need to encourage all legislators to get on board with this.
The most important part of this come back to action is the consideration, and hopefully enactment, of a bill to correct some of the most egregious actions that have been taken under the guise of protecting citizens from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus. It was evident from the beginning that protecting the public from this admittedly serious health issue could have been accomplished without undermining our constitutional rights or dismantling the best economy that we had seen in decades.
Fortunately, some legislators have seen the light and have decided to introduce a bill dealing with the aforementioned issues.
We do not have a bill number, apparently none has been assigned yet. We do not know who introduced or sponsored the bill, but we do have a copy of the text of the bill. It deals with two areas relating to COVID-19, namely executive order enforcement and liability reform. The following is a summary:
Section 1. Executive Orders
Subsection A. Exempts executive orders issued in connection with COVID-19 from some of the provisions of ARS 26-317. It provides that a person may not be charged with, adjudicated for, or convicted of an act that is prohibited or required by an executive order issued during a state of emergency declared by the governor and related to COVID-19.
Subsection B. Limits to a $100 civil liability fine, the penalty for violating an executive order issued in connection with COVID-19.
Subsection C. Prohibits the suspension or revocation of licenses to businesses, groups, or individuals as a result of violating executive orders in connection with COVID-19.
Subsection D. Makes provisions of this bill retroactive to March 10, 2020
Section 2. Limits on Civil Liability
Subsection A. Schools, churches, businesses, individuals, and various other groups may not be sued if the law suit is based merely on the contraction of the COVID-19 virus while in their premises during a COVID-19 declared emergency. This protection does not apply to cases in which defendants engaged in gross negligence.
Subsection B. The burden of proof is elevated from “preponderance of evidence” to the next higher “clear and convincing evidence”.
Subsection C. The provisions of subsection A do not apply to tort claims that require intentional, knowing, or reckless acts.
Subsection D. Applicable to causes of action that accrue before, on, or after effective date.
Section 3. Severability
If a part of this act is held invalid, it does not affect the rest of the act.
Since it is essential that we experience a quick recovery from this government created debacle, we are encouraging everyone reading this material to contact legislators and encourage them to pass this very important legislation. We are also encouraging everyone to share this information with others that may not be as well informed, and encourage them to contact legislators.
Those folks who prefer contacting via e-mail can go to https://azpeopleslobbyist.com/
For tools and instructions on how to send e-mails to all legislators with just a few clicks of the mouse.
People who prefer to use the telephone can obtain phone numbers as follows:
House numbers at https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=H
Senate numbers at: https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=S
Please do it right now. If you wait until later, you may forget or act too late.
Timing is essential for success.