Republican Legislators Admonish Ducey: Act Now Against Schools Defying the Law

Republican Legislators Admonish Ducey: Act Now Against Schools Defying the Law

By Corinne Murdock |

25 Arizona House and Senate Republicans led by freshman State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Phoenix) called for Governor Doug Ducey to do something about the school districts defying state law with their mask mandates. The news release on Wednesday revealed that Republican legislators have urged Ducey privately to take action, to no avail. This public statement appears to be their next step in convincing Ducey to enforce the law.

It’s been over a week since the first school district called a mask mandate: Phoenix Union High School (PXU). Other schools followed suit soon after: most recently, Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD). Ducey hasn’t taken action – though his spokespersons have relayed Ducey’s finger-wagging statements of disapproval in response to those school districts.

The legislators proposed that Ducey respond to the districts’ actions by withholding federal funding, authorizing temporary Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) for families, inform families of the law, and take legal action.

Hoffman’s statement explained that the ban on mask mandates included a retroactivity clause that puts it in effect – contradicting school districts’ insistence that the law can’t take place until 90 days after the end of the legislative session, per Arizona statute. He noted that the school districts’ behavior undermined lawful government and bordered on anarchy.

“Under Arizona’s constitutional form of government, local governments do not have the authority or power to usurp state law simply because they disagree, yet that is precisely the kind of illegal activity in which many local governments are presently engaged. The Arizona legislature, with the Governor concurring, very intentionally enacted the laws at hand to protect Arizonans and Arizona children from the threat of government mandating them to wear a mask or be injected with a vaccine,” wrote Hoffman. “A resounding message must be delivered to any local government or subdivision of the state considering defying state law – lawlessness will not be tolerated.”

House Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert) signed onto the statement admonishing Ducey. He told AZ Free News that he also supports law enforcement stepping in to enforce the law. Grantham hinted that this debacle sparked a legislative priority for next year – adding more teeth to legislation.

“It’s unfortunate that some of our government-funded schools have chosen to blatantly ignore state law and the will of the majority of Arizonans by instituting mandates regarding students wearing face coverings,” relayed Grantham. “I support executive action by the governor to include withholding of taxpayer dollars and expansion of school choice funding options giving more educational choices to parents. I also support any efforts by law enforcement to enforce state law and I encourage parents and teachers to follow state law when sending their children to school and when on school grounds. Next year I will make it a focus to hold those who violate state law accountable and ensure appropriate funding reductions are in place for districts that purposely violate the law.”

State Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) also signed onto the statement. He reiterated to AZ Free News that disagreement with the law isn’t justification for violation of it. Chaplik wrote the legislation that effectively banned mask mandates in schools. He, too, asserted that the power to act is in Ducey’s hands.

“Just because some don’t agree with policy and law, we should not disrespect and violate it while also teaching children these illegal tactics,” said Chaplik. “We passed this policy due to the inconsistencies of results with mask use and the unknown long term health issues that can impair our children. We need to stop this madness. The legislature did its job and now the executive branch needs to enforce the law.”

As of press time, Grantham and Chaplik said that they haven’t seen or heard any responses from Ducey.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Bolick Tweet Points Out Hypocrisy Of Supporting Private Companies In Elections But Not Education

Bolick Tweet Points Out Hypocrisy Of Supporting Private Companies In Elections But Not Education

By Terri Jo Neff |

Rep. Shawnna Bolick says a tweet she wrote Wednesday was not intended as a commentary on the Senate’s ongoing audit of Maricopa County’s election process. Instead, she was simply trying to draw attention to a double-standard by many state Democrats on the issue of public-private partnerships.

Bolick (R-LD20) is a strong supporter of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) which thousands of Arizona families can utilize to provide school choice for students. As Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, she has championed SB1452 which seeks to expand ESA eligibility to thousands more students.

But Bolick says she has seen many Democrats who do not support giving families more choice in a child’s education if that choice involves a privately run school. Then on Wednesday morning, Bolick was reading comments about the Senate’s election audit when an article caught her attention.

That article reported on how Maricopa County does not have the administrative passwords necessary to access key voting equipment the auditors want to review. Those passwords appear to be in the control of Dominion Voting Systems, a private company which leases voting equipment to the county.

And that, Bolick says, prompted a bit of a snarky retort “comparing how the Left is okay with our democratic process being turned over to a private entity for elections, but they are not okay with kids going to, say, a private school.”

“I see so much hypocrisy in the world, so it’s fun sometimes to point out an issue that might not even be related to another issue,” Bolick said, adding she did not mean to suggest private companies should never be involved in elections. “Just a little poke on hypocrisy between different governance structures and ideas. Nothing more, nothing less.”

An amended version of SB1452 which came through Bolick’s committee is slated to be considered by the House on Thursday. If it passes the legislation will have to return to the Senate for a final vote.

Bolick also serves as Vice-Chair of the House Criminal Justice Reform Committee.