Gov. Hobbs Says She Wishes She Vetoed More Bills

Gov. Hobbs Says She Wishes She Vetoed More Bills

By Corinne Murdock |

Gov. Katie Hobbs says that her decision to not veto more bills represented her biggest missed opportunity this past legislative session.

In an interview with 12 News, Hobbs shared that her 143 vetoes weren’t enough in her eyes — a record-breaking total that far surpassed the 58 vetoes of the last female Democratic governor for the state, Janet Napolitano. Hobbs laughed, then clarified that vetoing for the sake of vetoing wasn’t her goal. 

“I didn’t come here to veto bills,” said Hobbs.

In April, Hobbs celebrated breaking Napolitano’s veto record after killing a bipartisan bill to legalize more homemade food sales.

With June came a slew of vetoes on Republican-led and bipartisan bills addressing hot-topic issues.

Hobbs vetoed a bill requiring all child sex offenders to register within the state’s online database. A loophole in state law only requires child sex offenders to register if they’re not considered a high risk of reoffending. Hobbs justified that those child sex offenders didn’t need to be registered because they weren’t the “most dangerous.” Lawmakers denounced Hobbs’ veto, arguing that it allowed predators to remain undetected in communities built on trust, such as schools and sports teams.

Similarly, Hobbs vetoed a bill banning sexually explicit materials from classrooms. The governor derided the legislation as an attempt to ban books.

The governor also vetoed a revision of Proposition 400, which would’ve allowed voters to vote separately for roads and transportation funding. Last week, a bipartisan majority passed a version of Proposition 400 that reunited the two funding questions.

Hobbs then vetoed bills barring state contracts and investments with organizations implementing social credit scoring, often called Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) systems.

The governor also vetoed an election integrity measure prohibiting election officers, employees, or individuals overseeing elections operations from serving in the leadership of a political action committee. Hobbs claimed in the veto letter that there were too few of these cases to justify codification. 

Hobbs also vetoed a bill requiring public schools to provide single-access restrooms and changing facilities for transgender individuals. The governor said the protective measure was discriminatory against LGBTQ+ individuals. 

The governor also vetoed a bill requiring municipalities to require vagrants to remove their encampments. Hobbs said that the bill shouldn’t be allowed to take effect since it doesn’t address why the homeless decide to install unlawful encampments and offers the homeless no alternative to establishing the encampments.

In the preceding months, Hobbs vetoed several other key bills banning photo radar, prohibiting schools from using the incorrect pronouns to satisfy transgender perspectives, increasing punishments for those who make or distribute fentanyl to minors, increasing punishments for those who commit domestic violence against pregnant women, requiring employers to honor religious exemptions for vaccinations, prohibiting schools from teaching critical race theory, and prohibiting municipal taxes on rental or leased properties.

In the Sunday interview, Hobbs said that, despite the many vetoes and heightened political divisions, she has managed to push through significant legislation, citing the budget. Apart from the vetoes, the divisions are most evident in the fact that only a handful of her nominations have been approved.

Additionally, Hobbs took a jab at the state’s universalized school choice program. The governor said the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program was “unaccountable” and rife with “runaway spending.” Hobbs said that she would continue to look for ways to undermine the program, if not roll it back entirely.

The governor also advocated for greater action to counter alleged climate change. Local and federal Democratic leaders have appeared to have been moving in lockstep when it comes to characterizing the desert heat as a federal emergency, a classification that would come with increased funding for climate and social projects.

Hobbs also expressed confidence that a ballot measure expanding abortion access would come before voters next year.

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

Hobbs Breaks Veto Record Set By Napolitano

Hobbs Breaks Veto Record Set By Napolitano

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.