Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) announced they are fighting back against Gov. Katie Hobbs’s (D) opposition to executing death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
“Governor Hobbs’ unilateral decision to defy a court order is lawless and should not be tolerated by the Judiciary,” said Toma in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times. “We filed this amicus brief because the Governor is not above the law and simply cannot choose which statutes or court orders to follow. Moreover, I’m proud to stand with the victims in this case. Governor Hobbs’ actions have been a flagrant insult to the Price family, denying them of their legal rights as crime victims, and of the justice they are very much due.”
U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes released an order Wednesday stating that Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) may intervene in a court case involving an abortion ban law enacted in 2021.
“When it became clear that Attorney General [Kris] Mayes [D] would not defend Arizona’s law prohibiting discriminatory abortions, the Legislature had to step in. I applaud the federal court’s order recognizing our legislative authority and granting our motion to intervene to defend the constitutionality of this law,” Toma said in a statement emailed to The Sun Times.
Arizona State Legislators, House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) and Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) sent a letter to the National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG) Wednesday, threatening legal action because of the association’s utilization of funding.
“It is time that Arizona’s laws and regulations start applying to NAAG and that this unaccountable slush fund activity stop now,” the legislators wrote in the joint letter. “At this point, litigation is reasonably likely between us. Consider this letter a litigation hold notice.”
With a potential government shutdown looming on the horizon, State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) and Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) sent a letter to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) Tuesday requesting a meeting to discuss ways to compromise on the state budget.
“In our first and only meeting to discuss the budget, your office stated it was unwilling to receive feedback or take questions. Obviously, we need some level of agreement to pass a budget. We believe we can achieve most of our priorities and including yours that are reasonable,” the Legislators wrote in their joint letter.
Arizona State Rep. David Livingston (R-Peoria) sent another letter to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) Wednesday demanding more answers regarding where she is placing funds for 2023 inauguration events. While Livingston did receive answers to his first letter, he said those have only led to more questions.
“Those records have not alleviated my concerns regarding your administration’s solicitation of inaugural funds. Instead, they have prompted new concerns and this supplemental request for more information,” Livingston wrote.
Arizona State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) announced Thursday the formation of the House Committee on International Trade to help improve Arizona’s economic footprint.
“Trade is essential to Arizona’s success,” said Toma. “It fuels our state’s economic growth, generating business and job opportunities – all which is also critical for the prosperity of Arizona families. Our state has tremendous opportunity to grow our trade footprint with international partners, and that is the intention behind this new committee.”
The Arizona State House and Senate have officially passed a “skinny budget” to continue funding state agencies. The ball now falls in Gov. Katie Hobbs’s (D) court to sign or veto the budget, and the Senate Majority Caucus said it expects Hobbs to “do the right thing.”
“We [the caucus] believe it would be quite foolish for Governor Hobbs to veto this budget. We are proceeding under the assumption that she will do the right thing. If she does veto this budget, then she will be responsible for a government shutdown,” Caucus spokeswoman Kim Quintero told The Arizona Sun Times via email.
Arizona State Representative David Livingston (R-Peoria) sent letters Monday to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) and her campaign manager Nicole DeMont seeking further transparency regarding the funds Hobbs received for her inauguration events.
“To that end, I have serious concerns relating to the procurement of funds that appear to have been solicited and donated for the purpose of sponsoring Inauguration events hosted at the Capitol in early January,” Livingston wrote. “It is my understanding that you or your campaign manager publically disclosed some of the donors and the amounts of their donations several weeks ago, but this disclosure is incomplete.”
A new bill from Arizona State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria), which involves the publication of election ballot images, passed through the House Municipal Oversight & Elections Committee Wednesday. State Sen. Ken Bennett (R-Prescott), a former Arizona Secretary of State, has a mirror bill in the State Senate and spoke in favor of Toma’s bill during the meeting.
“I don’t think this is a partisan issue. We have got to come together somehow as Republicans and Democrats in Arizona to make our elections transparent, trackable, and publicly verifiable,” Bennett said.
Arizona State Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and House Speaker (R-Peoria) sent a letter to Governor Katie Hobbs Monday, outlining their concerns with the Elections Task Force (ETF) created through Executive Order 2023-03.
“We agree that election reform is necessary. But we question whether your unilateral decision to appoint a task force and direct it to address this subject of paramount and statewide importance is an appropriate exercise of your authority,” according to the letter.