Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation preventing state health officials from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required school inoculations and barring mask mandates in government buildings.
The bills Ducey signed Friday permanently block disease mitigation measures that many health professionals say are critical to reining in the pandemic if case counts again surge or the virus mutates and becomes more deadly to children.
GOP lawmakers say they are needed to stop government overreach and intrusion into personal choice.
Democrats opposed the measures.