WASHINGTON –The actions President Joe Biden took this month to increase the number of workers who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will apply not just to most federal employees and larger businesses.
State and local government workers in 26 states, including teachers and school staff, will also be affected by the new workplace rules being written by Washington.
That includes workers in some states, like Arizona, that have banned vaccination requirements for public employees , setting up another clash between GOP-led states and the Democratic administration.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero is eager for federal backup.
“It will be absolutely incredibly supportive of the city of Tucson and making sure that our public sector employees are not just protecting each other, but that we’re also protecting the public that they interact with,” Romero, a Democrat, told USA TODAY.
The city recently paused its vaccination mandate for city workers after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich declared it illegal . In this Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks at a news conference in Phoenix. Brnovich has filed the first lawsuit to block President Joe Biden’s new vaccine requirements that could affect 100 million workers, Tuesday Sept, 14, 2021. His complaint doesn’t mention the conflict with state law. Instead, Brnovich argues that U.S. citizens shouldn’t have to get the vaccine when people crossing the southern border illegally do not.
A spokesman for Arizona’s labor department said the agency cannot comment on the new rules until they are finalized. Biden’s biggest steps yet
There are limits on Biden’s ability to require vaccinations. But after months of cajoling Americans to get immunized against the coronavirus, he took his strongest steps yet in areas where he has authority.
Biden announced most federal workers and millions of federal contractors must be vaccinated.
More: Who is covered by Biden’s new vaccine mandates and when do they go into effect?