Republican Legislative Leaders Request Katie Hobbs Give Leftover Inaugural Funds for General Use

State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) and Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) sent a request to Gov. Katie Hobbs Thursday, requesting she transfers the remainder of her inaugural fund to the state for general use.

“We appreciate your commitment to transparency in releasing the list of 120 donors and the amounts of each donation to the ‘Katie Hobbs Inaugural Fund,'” the legislators wrote. “We urge you to follow in your predecessors’ footsteps and transfer any monies left over in the Inaugural Fund to the Protocol Fund.”

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Hobbs, Mayes Temporarily Halt Death Penalty in Arizona

Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order on Friday to review the death penalty process in Arizona, while a stay from Attorney General Kris Mayes halts it for the time.

Hobbs will be selecting an “independent review commissioner” to investigate “all components” of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, & Reentry’s “execution process for lethal injections and the gas chamber,” the order states.

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Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Abolish the State Income Tax

Although Arizona’s state income tax recently dropped to one of the lowest in the nation, a rookie lawmaker disagrees with the concept of having an income tax at all.  Rep. Austin Smith, a West Valley Republican, filed House Bill 2395. He said taxpayers have struggled to make ends meet due to the current economic environment. 

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Runbeck: Election Firm Involved in Maricopa County’s Alleged Chain-of-Custody Violations

As Republican Kari Lake appeals a legal defeat in her lawsuit challenging certification of her narrow loss in Arizona’s Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, she is alleging that ballot chain-of-custody issues occurred at Runbeck Election Services, a company that municipalities across the country use for outsourcing election operations.

Lake is appealing a ruling against her last month in her suit against former Secretary of State and current Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County election officials demanding the election result be set aside due to alleged failures and misconduct by the county. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson found that Lake failed to meet a legal standard of clear and convincing evidence that intentional misconduct changed the outcome of the election.

In her appeal, which challenges the legal standard applied by the trial court, Lake alleges that Maricopa County’s “massive violations of law and maladministration” included violating Arizona law’s chain-of-custody requirements by not having Election Day dropbox ballots counted at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) before going to Runbeck.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs’ New Budget Defunds Border Strike Force, Universal School Choice Program

If the reaction from Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ first budget proposal is any indication, she and lawmakers are likely in for a long spring. 

Hobbs announced her $17.1 billion spending proposal Friday afternoon, saying it lowers costs, invests in public education, secures the state’s water future and addresses the affordable housing crisis. 

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Arizona Republican Legislators Respond to State of the State Address, Say Political Games Will Not Sidetrack Them

Following the State of the State address from Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, Majority Leaders State Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu) and Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu) released a video responding to the speech.

“You heard from Governor Hobbs; she does not want a policy discussion but a hasty action for political points. Our founding fathers set up the legislative process that works,” said Borrelli. “We will not be sidetracked or bullied for political games. It [the legislative process] is divinely inspired by our founding fathers. We will stick to the mission.”

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Arizona State Senate Majority Caucus Promises to Keep Republican Values at the Center of Legislation Going into New Session

The Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus (Caucus) released its 2023 Majority Plan on Thursday, outlining priorities and approaches to strengthening the state and tackling important issues. Kim Quintero, director of communications for the Caucus, told The Arizona Sun Times that the elected officials would do their best to honor the Republican values they ran on while working under newly sworn-in Gov. Katie Hobbs (D).

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