Jan 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing
A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

What he's saying: In the complaint, Ducey argues that Treasury overstepped in making its final rule, which prohibits Ducey's program from qualifying for funding.

  • Ducey is asking the judge to overturn the entire rule.
  • "The Governor’s Office will not eliminate or change the (education) programs to conform to Treasury’s unlawful dictates," the lawsuit states, per the Republic.
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