New Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs is piling up vetoes of bills sent to her from the Republican-dominated Arizona Legislature. By Thursday, she had vetoed 37 bills this session, more than any other governor in Arizona’s history except Democrat Janet Napolitano. The progressive Phoenix New Times dubbed her the “Veto Queen.”
The Kari Lake War Room Twitter account had a strong reaction to all of the vetoes. “.@katiehobbs is Arizona’s very own Ron Burgundy,” the account tweeted. “She’s wedded to the teleprompter and she’ll VETO anything that’s put in front of her. Even when it’s language that she herself (supposedly) wrote. She’s not even reading these bills. Hobbs isn’t a Governor. She’s a clown.”
Hobbs vetoed eight bills on Thursday. HB 2322, sponsored by State Senator Alex Kolodin (R-Scottsdale), would have codified minimal voting signature verification procedures from the 2020 state Election Procedures Manual (EPM) into statute. Hobbs refused to accept Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s revisions to the EPM when she was Secretary of State, so the state has been operating under the 2019 version. The bill passed through the House with bipartisan support, with 16 House Democrats voting for it in February.
Another election related bill she vetoed was HB 2415, sponsored by House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu). It would have removed a voter from the Active Early Voting List if they failed to vote in an election.
Hobbs also vetoed the election bill SB 1074, sponsored by State Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu), which would have required the source codes for electronic equipment used to tabulate votes in Arizona be submitted to the state’s Auditor general for inspection by the State Legislature, a county’s board of supervisors, or other election officials by request.
SB 1600, sponsored by State Senator Janae Shamp (R-Surprise), would have required health professionals to treat any infant born alive as a fully human being. Hobbs vetoed another pro-life bill, HB 2427, sponsored by State Representative Matt Gress (R-Phoenix), which would have increased charges against anyone who assaulted a pregnant woman.
Hobbs vetoed a bill requiring harsher punishments for ppl convicted of domestic violence of a pregnant woman
Days ago, Democrats refused to acknowledge that it protects pregnant WOMEN. Not men. Men don’t get pregnant or have babies
These are AZ Democrats
Are you OK with this? https://t.co/8aSjDFUyEc
— Arizona Freedom Caucus (@AZFreedomCaucus) April 4, 2023
Hobbs vetoed SB 1253, another bill from Shamp, which would have required sex offenders with children in schools to notify the schools. She vetoed SB 1009, sponsored by State Senator John Kavanah (R-Fountain Hills), which increases the penalty for defacing monuments and statues.
Look at the insanity of these Gov. Hobbs Vetoes 👇
❌️ VETOED SB1009, which makes defacing, damaging or tampering with a public or private monument, memorial or statue a crime.
❌️ VETOED SB1253, requires registered sex offenders to notify their local schools of their status.
— Rep. Leo Biasiucci (@Leo4AzHouse) April 7, 2023
A few days ago, Hobbs vetoed HB 2472, sponsored by State Rep. Steve Montenegro (R-Glendale), which would have prohibited the state from requiring banks to use a social credit score when determining whether to lend money.
She’s already vetoed the budget once, in mid-February. It was merely a “skinny budget” meant to keep last year’s budget going until a new budget could be agreed to. Hobbs wouldn’t sign it because she wants to increase it by a full $2 billion, which legislators won’t agree to.
In March, she vetoed a bill sponsored by State Senator J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) that would have banned Critical Race Theory, SB 1305. She vetoed a bill that would have lowered grocery costs for Arizonans by eliminating the food tax, SB 1063. Another bill she vetoed was SB 1428, sponsored by State Senator Justine Wadsack (R-Tucson), which would stop local governments from banning gun shows.
SB 1698 is expected to pass the State House soon and will be sent to Hobbs, where she will likely veto it. Also from Wadsack, it makes it a crime to expose children to adult entertainment like strip clubs and drag shows.
Napolitano vetoed 58 bills in 2005 and 43 bills in 2006. Hobbs has only signed 13 bills. Hobbs may surpass Napolitono’s numbers with a couple of months likely left in the session. The legislature needs a two-thirds vote to override Hobbs’ vetoes. With a 1-seat majority in both chambers, it is unlikely the Republicans will be able to accomplish this.
Hobbs has had a tumultuous first three months in office. She refused to disclose how much special interests contributed to her inaugural festivities until pressed for weeks, and required them to contribute $250,000 each but didn’t say what the money was for. She vaguely said it was for “costs associated with the swearing-in ceremony,” but she used prison labor to conduct the event.
— Jimmy Jenkins (@JimmyJenkins) January 6, 2023
Her press secretary resigned after tweeting a photo of an actress holding guns with a caption that stated that is how she treats people critical of promoting transgenderism. More staffers have left within the last couple of weeks, including her director of communications. The New Times observed, “They weren’t the first high-profile people to be ushered out of the administration.” Two of Hobbs’ nominees for appointed positions were forced to resign, and her pick to lead the state health department was rejected by the Arizona Legislature as “too extreme.”
The New Times interviewed Hobbs this past week, and referred to her first three months as a “roller coaster ride,” with “unforced errors,” “choppy waters,” and “rookie missteps you might not expect from a public official who’s held statewide office before.”
Republican political consultant Daniel Scarpinato told the newspaper Hobbs has not lived up to her moderate image she crafted while campaigning. “A lot of those Republicans who did cross over have been surprised at her actions since becoming governor because she has taken a much more progressive posture than what she ran on,” he said. “They either regret their vote or have doubts about whether they did the right thing.”
Voters aren’t confident in Hobbs, with 8 percent more telling Rasmussen Reports last month that they voted for Kari Lake over Hobbs in an exit poll. Lake is still challenging her election loss, which has been remanded by the Arizona Supreme Court back to the trial court judge to reconsider voter signature verification issues he’d dismissed.
– – –
Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Katie Hobbs” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.