Hobbs Signs Executive Order Banning Use Of TikTok On Government Devices

Hobbs Signs Executive Order Banning Use Of TikTok On Government Devices

By Daniel Stefanski |

Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs and Arizona Legislative Republicans may not see eye to eye on much this session, but there’s one issue that has united Republicans with the state’s chief executive.

Last week, Governor Hobbs signed an executive order, dated April 4, to force “all State Agencies to remove TikTok from State-owned and State-leased information technology and personal devices used for State work.”

Hobbs justified her decision, writing that “TikTok has been found to have security vulnerabilities that, if unresolved, could expose State-owned or State-leased devices to malicious actors creating potential security and privacy risks to State agencies and the systems and data the State is charged with protecting.”

As Hobbs’ order concedes, the Arizona action was not the first in the nation: “TikTok has been banned on government devices by the federal government, several other states, countries, and organizations due to security concerns and concerns about the application’s potential to spread misinformation and propaganda.”

Freshman Representative Matt Gress, the sponsor of the “No TikTok on Arizona Government Devices Act” (HB 2416), cheered on the governor’s action, stating, “I applaud the Governor for taking action to address the security and data collection threats posed by TikTok and similar apps.”

Gress, though, urged the governor and his colleagues in the Legislature to pass and sign his bill, saying, “The Legislature still needs to act, and the Governor should sign HB 2416, a comprehensive plan to keep the state’s critical information secure and strengthen public safety. It would expand on the Governor’s order, codifying it permanently into state law, and apply to all government entities, employees, and contractors.”

HB 2416 passed the Arizona House at the end of February with a 31-28 vote – with one Democrat Representative not voting. It recently cleared the Senate Government Committee, and it awaits final action from the full chamber.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes also chimed in on the TikTok news with an announcement, dated April 5, that the use of TikTok was banned on “all computers, mobile phones, and tablets owned by the (Attorney General’s) office.” Mayes explained that “Data security is paramount, especially for government agencies that handle sensitive information. We cannot risk the potential exposure of our data to foreign entities. Banning TikTok on state-owned devices is a necessary measure to protect our operations.”

Mayes revealed that “she was not reassured by recent testimony given by the CEO of Tik Tok to a Congressional panel,” adding, “Given the inability of TikTok’s CEO to definitiely state that the Chinese government cannot access data collected from U.S. users, I remain unconvinced that the app’s security risks have been adequately addressed.”

The action out of Mayes’ Office appears to have taken place earlier in the week. In the release from her office, it was stated that “Attorney General Mayes announced the ban in an email to Arizona Attorney General Office employees earlier this week.”

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

Republicans Need to Protect Arizona’s Citizens from Executive Overreach

Republicans Need to Protect Arizona’s Citizens from Executive Overreach

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Katie Hobbs certainly seems to like power. That’s probably why she was so giddy with laughter and excitement during her swearing-in ceremony last month. Now, she’s gotten to work. And despite her claims that Republicans and Democrats will have an open door to her office to get to work on bipartisan compromise, her preferred method appears to be executive action.

In just over a month since beginning her reign as governor, Hobbs has already signed seven executive orders. And there’s no sign that she’ll stop there. Her first executive order, prohibiting gender identity discrimination in state employment and contracts, was particularly eye-opening. Consider it a small taste of the woke agenda Hobbs is looking to implement over the next four years. And while it’s good to see that groups like the Arizona Freedom Caucus are planning to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such an order, it will take more than that to stop Hobbs from overstepping her authority…


AZ Freedom Caucus Conducts Walkout, Plans Lawsuit To Push Back On Hobbs

AZ Freedom Caucus Conducts Walkout, Plans Lawsuit To Push Back On Hobbs

By Terri Jo Neff |

Several Republican lawmakers opted to walkout or turn their backs as a sign of protest during Monday’s State of the State address by Gov. Katie Hobbs. And the same group intends to move forward with plans to initiate a lawsuit challenging Hobbs’ first executive order.

The protests were organized by the Arizona Freedom Caucus, whose members are committed to upholding the Constitution and preserving personal freedom. Their actions at the State of the State event came just hours after a press conference was held to discuss a lawsuit they intend to file against Hobbs.

The lawsuit will challenge the constitutionality of Executive Order 2023-01, which seeks to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ individuals seeking employment in most state offices and state contractors. Hobbs’ order, however,  has come under attack for likely violating an Arizona law which protects the religious autonomy of organizations that work with state agencies.

Sen. Jake Hoffman said during Monday’s press conference that Hobbs believes “she has the ability to legislate with the power of the pen, attempting to create law that simply does not exist.” The lawsuit hopes to rein in the type of policy changes Hobbs seeks to implement through executive orders.

Hoffman is one of the lawmakers who later left the House of Representatives chamber during Hobbs’ speech. 

State Rep. Jacqueline Parker is a founding member of the Arizona Freedom Caucus. She explained her protest action in a press release issued after Hobbs’ address.

“We could not sit idly by while she repeatedly declared her intention to advance her woke agenda that stands at odds with the people of our state,” Parker said.

“The Arizona Freedom Caucus will never back down in the face of Katie Hobbs’ attempts to implement her fascist agenda in our state,” vowed Rep. Joseph Chaplik.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

Hobbs’ First Executive Order Prohibits Gender Identity Discrimination

Hobbs’ First Executive Order Prohibits Gender Identity Discrimination

By Corinne Murdock |

Governor Katie Hobbs’ first executive order prohibits gender identity discrimination in state employment and contracts.

The order directs the Department of Administration to establish procedures by April 1, 2023 regarding gender identity discrimination. The order also directed the department to launch awareness campaigns throughout state government through internal communications and trainings.


Hobbs’ order declared that over 40 percent of LGBTQ+ individuals nationwide report “unfair treatment” at work, such as firings, harassment, or not being hired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The order also noted that 83 percent of the Fortune 500 companies prohibit gender identity discrimination; those numbers came directly from a Human Rights Campaign report

The 40 percent estimate appears to have originated from a 2021 study from a UCLA Law think tank. Their survey covered just over 900 LGBTQ+ adults about their lifetime, five-year, and past-year discrimination experiences. 46 percent of these respondents reported experiencing unfair treatment at some point in their lives, with just nine percent experiencing discrimination in 2021. 

The think tank estimated that about 8 million American workers identify as LGBTQ+ — if nine percent of that estimate experienced discrimination in 2021, that would amount to just over 720,000 people. Other activist groups’ estimates place the total LGBTQ+ population at a much higher number: over 20 million. 

Hobbs’ order could be viewed as a natural progression of policy initiated by a 2020 Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision.

Former attorney general Mark Brnovich interpreted existing anti-discrimination protections to include both sexual orientation and gender identity in a 2020 filing for the case Bruer v. State of Arizona. His filing followed the SCOTUS decision in Bostock v. Clayton County which determined that employers can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Brnovich said that the state legislature would have to amend the Arizona Civil Rights Act to exclude sexual orientation and gender identity specifically if they disagreed with this interpretation.

The state already prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in a 2003 executive order issued by former Governor Janet Napolitano — the last Democrat elected as governor prior to Hobbs. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Ducey Rescinds 25 Pandemic-Related Executive Orders

Ducey Rescinds 25 Pandemic-Related Executive Orders

On Friday, Gov. Doug Ducey rescinded a series of executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic. The governor said the orders were no longer needed because the Legislature put them into law.

The governor said some of the orders would remain in place until legislation takes effect in 90 days. Those include orders preventing cities, towns and counties from issuing orders for businesses that are more stringent than those Ducey issues. Other orders ending after new legislation takes effect are ones barring universities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines or masks for unvaccinated students.

The governor ordered:

Effective July 1, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Order 2020-17 deferred requirements to renew state agency and board licenses that had an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements could be completed online. The timeframe for the deferrals lapsed on March 1, 2021.
  • Executive Order 2020-28 was enacted to address critical demand for nursing home and long-term care facility staff, allowing caregiver trainees to utilize on-the-job training to meet a certification program. This policy was codified through legislation in 2020.
  • Executive Order 2020-58 ensured cost-sharing requirements, such as co-pays and co-insurance, for the COVID-19 vaccine are waived. This policy was codified by congress through the CARES Act.
  • Executive Order 2021-04 required schools to return in-person, teacher-led instruction by March 15, 2020. In-person, teacher led instruction will continue to be required beyond the March 15, 2020 deadline.

Effective July 9, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Orders 2020-08 & 2020-53 extended standard driver licenses that originally expired between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, in an effort to limit visits to the state Motor Vehicle division. An expiration deferral issued as a result of this order remains valid and in effect.
  • Executive Order 2020-20 allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for up to 180 days, minimizing unnecessary trips to the doctor. With legislation expanding availability of telemedicine, obtaining refills is now more accessible.
  • Executive Order 2020-25 allowed struggling Arizona restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they have on hand, including items not normally packaged and labeled for resale. Arizona restaurants can now fully resume operations.

Effective September 29, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded upon enactment of legislation to codify the policies:

  • Executive Order 2020-12 was a proactive and administrative measure to ensure consistent mitigation guidance across the state, and prohibited any county, city or town to issue an order, rule or regulation that restricts or prohibits any essential service.
  • Executive Order 2021-05 lifted occupancy limits that were implemented due to COVID-19.
  • Executive Order 2021-06 transitioned COVID-19 mitigation requirements for businesses to recommendations.
  • Executive Order 2021-09 banned “vaccine passports” and prevented state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.
  • Executive Order 2021-10 rescinded orders related to K-12 health guidance.
  • Executive Order 2021-15 ensured students of public higher education institutions cannot be mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine or submit COVID-19 vaccination documents, and prohibited mandatory testing and mask usage for students.

The following will be repealed on a date determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services:

  • Executive Orders 2020-13, 2020-23, 2020-30, 2020-37, 2020-48, 2020-54,  2020-56, 2020-57, 2021-01, 2021-07, 2021-14, identified as Enhanced Surveillance Advisory Orders. The State Legislature provided authority to the Arizona Department of Health Services to continue requiring hospitals, testing laboratories and other health facilities to provide detailed information and data related to COVID-19.