Hobbs Veto Spree Continues, Kills Bill That Would Protect Pregnant Women From Abuse

April 4, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

As more bills make their way to Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ office, the rate of usage for her veto stamp has accelerated.

On Monday, Governor Hobbs vetoed four pieces of legislation that were recently transmitted from the Legislature to her office, giving her a total of 24 vetoes for this session.

The bills that Hobbs vetoed were HB 2427 (sponsored by Representative Matt Gress), HB 2440 (sponsored by Representative Gail Griffin), HB 2472 (sponsored by Representative Steve Montenegro), and HB 2056 (sponsored by Representative Lupe Diaz).

HB 2427 would have classified, “as aggravated assault punishable as a class 3 felony, assault against a pregnant victim if the person knows or has reason to know the victim is pregnant and circumstances exist that classify the offense as domestic violence.” In her veto letter, Hobbs pointed to “Arizona’s leading advocacy organization for victims of domestic violence” saying that the bill “will do nothing to deter domestic violence offenses or support pregnant victims.”

This bill garnered the most outrage out of the four Hobbs vetoed Monday. Bill sponsor, Matt Gress, responded on Twitter, saying, “Regarding HB 2427, I’ll never apologize for toughening penalties on abusers who assault pregnant women.”

The Arizona Freedom Caucus tweeted, “Hobbs vetoed a bill requiring harsher punishments for people convicted of domestic violence of a pregnant woman.”

However, as expected, Legislative Democrats cheered the governor’s veto of this bill immediately following the announcement from her office. Senator Anna Hernandez said, “This veto was crucial for protecting Arizonans from an underhanded attack on reproductive justice. Representative Gress and the Joint Republicans Caucus’ continued assault on our rights to safe and accessible abortion indicate that their ‘pro-life’ stance has always been about control not care.” And Representative Analise Ortiz added, “The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence agreed that HB 2427 did nothing to protect survivors. To prevent domestic violence, we must invest in real solutions by expanding access to counseling, housing, childcare, and economic stability.”

HB 2440 would have required “public power entities and public service corporations to prioritize reliable and affordable electric service when conducting infrastructure planning and investments.” Hobbs justified her decision by writing that the bill “is unnecessary and creates regulatory uncertainty in instances where affordability and reliability may be at odds.”

HB 2472 would have prohibited “the State of Arizona from requiring a bank or financial institution to use a social credit score when the bank or financial institution evaluates whether to lend money to a customer.” Hobbs explained that she believed “this bill is overly vague and should not be codified into law,” in part, because “it does not define ‘social credit scores’ – nor do those systems exist anywhere in the United States.”

HB 2056 would have exempted “a dry wash, arroyo, swale, gully or rill or other similar erosional feature that is characterized by low volume, infrequent or short duration flows from the Dredge and Fill Permit Program.” Hobbs argued that this bill created “regulatory confusion and uncertainty by forcing an unnecessary conflict between state law and the federal determination of Waters of the United States.”

House Speaker Ben Toma addressed the pattern of vetoes from the Ninth Floor of the Arizona Executive Tower, stating: “Issuing vetoes is easy. Actual leadership requires hard work, and Republicans in the legislature will continue to pass good public policies that make the state better for working Arizonans and families.”

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

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