Hobbs Breaks Veto Record Set By Napolitano

April 19, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s Democrat Governor may be wearing her record number of legislative vetoes as a badge of honor, but Republicans are attempting to ensure that she bears her actions as a political liability.

After Governor Katie Hobbs used her veto stamp on a bill for the 63rd time since she assumed office, Republicans pushed back against her propensity to reject many of their legislative proposals, providing Arizonans with examples of the bills vetoed by the state’s chief executive.

A release sent out by the Arizona State Senate Republican caucus noted that “Hobbs has so far chosen to alienate the remaining voters who also duly elected their Republican lawmakers to represent them on a variety of issues important to their lives and livelihoods, including:

  • Inflation relief in the form of tax cuts on groceries and rent for our hardworking families.
  • Requiring power companies to first prioritize affordability for Arizonans as well as grid reliability.
  • Harsher punishment for domestic abusers of pregnant women.
  • Greater penalties against fentanyl dealers when a child dies from an overdose.
  • Declaring drug cartels as terrorist organizations.
  • Parental notification of sex offenders on school campuses.
  • Prohibiting racist curriculum in public schools.
  • Health care requirements of providers for protections of infants born in distress.
  • Ban on homeless camps outside of businesses.
  • Religious protections for employees required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Support for small, at-home businesses.”

In addressing the record number of vetoes (and those assuredly to come before the end of the legislative session), Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope issued the following statement: “Vetoing is a tool that weak leaders will use in an effort to control legislative priorities, and we’re witnessing this tactic front and center from Katie Hobbs. Instead of demonstrating diplomacy and bipartisanship, the Governor is showcasing her failure to work across the aisle.

Instead of accomplishing the priorities of our citizens and strengthening our communities, she’s done little outside of hosting press gaggles and photo ops with activists groups and Democrats alike. Republican lawmakers will continue to fight for legislation expected from the voters who elected us into office, and we’ll leave the political games, subsequent chaos and insanity to Governor Hobbs.”

The previous record holder for Arizona legislative vetoes was Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano in 2005, who jettisoned 58 bills that were sent to her desk.

The sheer number of vetoes stand in contrast to Hobbs’ December 14, 2002, tweet as Governor-Elect, where she posted a picture of incoming Republican legislative leaders Warren Petersen and Ben Toma, writing, “Had a productive discussion with Speaker-Elect Ben Toma and President-Elect Warren Petersen this morning. We are ready to find common ground and get to work on behalf of all Arizonans.”

While Hobbs’ record to date hasn’t been comprised of all vetoes, most Republican legislators have been angered by some of her final decisions on their bills and by what they have perceived as a closed door to her office. “Common ground” between the governor and Republicans in the state legislature has yet to be achieved.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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