By Daniel Stefanski |
A powerful Arizona state senator is calling out the state’s Democrat governor for her veto of his bill that would have protected children.
This week, Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed SB 1696, which was recently transmitted to her office. The bill would have outlined “prohibitions on the State of Arizona, a state or a city, town, county or a political subdivision of the state regarding sexually explicit materials.” Those aforementioned entities would have been prohibited “from exposing minors to sexually explicit materials,” and the properties owned, leased or managed by those entities would have been banned from filming or facilitating sexually explicit acts.
Hobbs explained her reasoning behind the veto in a letter to Senate President Warren Petersen, writing, “I have vetoed SB 1696. While I agree that not all content is appropriate for minors, this bill is a poor way to address those concerns. The sponsor has stated that this bill was aimed at preventing a specific action from reoccurring, while in reality it is written in such a vague manner that it serves as little more than a thinly veiled effort to ban books.”
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Jake Hoffman, was outraged over the governor’s action, issuing a blistering statement to push back against her decision: “Once again, Katie Hobbs is spotlighting Democrats’ far-left extremism by vetoing yet another bill intended to protect our children from exposure to sexually explicit materials at the hands of Arizona governments. It’s absolutely sickening that Katie Hobbs is allowing pornography to be filmed in our state’s taxpayer-funded classrooms. These should be safe spaces for our kids to learn in, not venues for the sexually explicit adult entertainment industry. No 12-year-old child should ever have to worry that their middle school desk was the location of a porn shoot, yet because of Hobbs’ actions, this is precisely the case. Hobbs should be ashamed of herself, and every parent in the state of Arizona should be outraged. This is a despicable use of government resources, and there should be legal repercussions in place to discourage these types of practices from ever occurring again.”
In a release sent out just days before Hobbs vetoed his bill, Hoffman explained why his proposal was vital for the interests of the Grand Canyon State, saying, “Just last year, two Arizona teachers in Mohave County used government facilities to film pornography which they were then posting and profiting from. Astonishingly, there is no law that prohibits this from happening.”
SB 1696 recently passed the Arizona House of Representatives with a 31-27 vote (with one member not voting and one seat vacant) after clearing the chamber’s Government Committee with a party-line 5-4 vote. Earlier in the legislative session, it had received approval from the state senate with a 16-14 tally, after being given the green light in the chamber’s Government Committee with another 5-3 party-line vote.
Senators Anthony Kern and Justine Wadsack and Representatives Rachel Jones, Cory McGarr, and Austin Smith joined as co-sponsors to this bill.
Representatives from the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona Chapter for the National Association of Social Workers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, and Save Our Schools Arizona registered their opposition to the bill throughout the legislative process.
The Arizona Freedom Caucus had weighed in on Hoffman’s earlier plea to Governor Hobbs, writing, “Taxpayer-funded facilities should never be used for things like filming pornography. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that they have been. Putting an end to this abuse of taxpayer-funded school classrooms is a no brainer. Governor Hobbs do the right thing & sign the bill.”
Democrat Representative Nancy Gutierrez took the opposing approach in her response on Twitter, posting: “This is who you are voting for if you are voting Republican in AZ. This is disgusting propaganda. Instead of putting the Legislature on a break for weeks, maybe we could go do our jobs and not leave time for this foolishness.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.