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Bill limiting governor emergency powers makes its way through Arizona House

On a party-line vote, Republican members of an Arizona House committee  moved along a bill that would limit the time frames governors could issue for emergency declarations.

Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita is the bill's sponsor. She says while COVID-19 was an emergency, it was long-term. 

“The emergency declaration powers [are] really designed to deal with extraordinary circumstances, not chronic problems," Ugenti-Rita said.

But this bill targets limiting all governor-issued emergency declarations, related to public health, no matter the length of the issue. 

Democratic Rep. Sarah Liguori voted no saying she’s concerned that this measure would lead to slower response times in future states of emergency. 

The measure has already  passed the Senate.

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.