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

Kerr Outraged Over Hobbs Veto Of Public Safety Bills

Kerr Outraged Over Hobbs Veto Of Public Safety Bills

By Daniel Stefanski |

An Arizona state lawmaker is expressing outrage over the governor’s decision to veto one of her public safety bills.

On Thursday, Senator Sine Kerr issued a press release to highlight Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ “harmful veto of a bill requiring sex offenders convicted of dangerous crimes against children to register on the state’s sex offender website.”

The bill that elicited Kerr’s attention was SB 1583, which added “that a level one sex offender who commits specified sexual offenses is required to register on the internet sex offender website if the offender was sentenced for a dangerous crime against children (DCAC).”

Senator Kerr’s release revealed that there was “loophole in state law, which currently only requires some offenders who have been convicted of sex crimes against children to be listed on the sex offender website if they are considered at high risk of reoffending,” and that “those who are considered least likely to reoffend (level one offenders) may not be required to be listed on this website” – estimated in the thousands by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Hobbs, in her customary veto letter to the Senate President, explained her decision, writing, “State law already requires offenders that are deemed the most dangerous to be published on the Arizona Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Information website. DPS will continue to ensure this information is readily available to the public.”

The governor added that she looks forward “to continuing to work on legislative solutions to keep Arizona families and communities safe.”

Kerr vehemently disagreed with Hobbs’ justification and accused the state’s chief executive of being clueless when it comes to this issue, stating, “The lack of understanding from Governor Hobbs is a serious threat to the safety and wellbeing of all Arizona families with children. My bill would have armed parents, schools, churches and community centers with a digital tool of notification, transparency and awareness in order to prevent these offenders currently not listed on the website from further victimizing our kids. Hobbs’ veto letter, which she erroneously wrote to the wrong Senator, shows she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on with sex offender tracking in our state.”

In her statement, the senator also discussed the safety ramifications of this loophole and bemoaned the partisan nature of this bill, saying, “Right now, if a parent signs their child up for a sports team, and that coach was convicted of committing a dangerous sex crime against a minor but is not considered likely to reoffend, that coach may not be listed on the website. When the parent searches the site and doesn’t see the coach’s name pop up, they are given a false sense of security that their child will be in good hands. Protecting our children from sexual victimization should not be a partisan issue, yet all Democrats in the Legislature voted against the bill and our Democrat Governor vetoed it.”

Senator Kerr vowed to bring back this effort next session “so that we stop protecting sex offenders and start protecting children.”

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

Hobbs Vetoes Bill Protecting Arizonans From Discriminatory Ranking System

Hobbs Vetoes Bill Protecting Arizonans From Discriminatory Ranking System

By Daniel Stefanski |

Another Arizona Republican-led effort to scale back the ESG movement in the state has been rejected by Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs.

On Monday, Senator Anthony Kern issued a press release, announcing that Governor Hobbs vetoed SB 1611, which he sponsored and which would have “countered the rapidly increasing use of environmental, social, or governance standards (ESG) scores to compel the business practices of private companies.”

In a statement, Kern expressed disappointment with the governor’s action, saying, “This bill would have ensured our state contracts do not push the goals of ESG in Arizona. If an organization supports ESG, we simply should not offer them a state contract. Tax dollars should not go to partisan organizations and organizations that implement politically driven policies. The Governor had the opportunity to put a stop to this clear form of discrimination, and instead, chose to support it.”

Senator Kern’s release elaborated on the purpose of his legislation and the importance of this proposal for the Grand Canyon State: “This bill specified a public entity may not implement an ESG policy as a condition of entering or renewing a contract with a company. ESG describes a set of standards imposed on companies to manipulate businesses and investors into compliance with Leftist political ideologies at the expense of free-market capitalism and investor returns. This system is similar to the concept of a credit score. If you don’t score high enough on their liberal meter, you could be rejected from doing business with these groups.”

Hobbs didn’t have much to say in her customary veto letter to Senate President Warren Petersen, writing, “I do not believe that tying the hands of the State’s procurement and investment professionals is in the best interests of the people of Arizona.”

After being introduced, SB 1611 was assigned to the Senate Government Committee, where it passed 4-3 – before clearing the full chamber 16-12 (with two members not voting). The legislation was transmitted to the House of Representatives and designated to the Government Committee, where it was approved with a 5-4 vote. The House then gave the green light for the bill 31-27 (with one member not voting and one seat vacant).

The governor’s veto of SB 1611 occurred on the same day she turned aside another, similar bill, which was SB 1500, sponsored by Senator Frank Carroll. That legislation would have “empowered (the) Arizona State Treasurer to eliminate ESG consideration from all state investments by requiring investments be made in the sole interest of the taxpayer.” Carroll pushed back in a statement this week, writing, “My interest is in protecting taxpayer dollars and protecting pensions. I sponsored this bill to get politics out of the pensions of public employees and public officials who have earned the right to financial stability after dedicating their lives to public service.”

Arizona Republicans and Democrats are unlikely to come together on the ESG issue as Hobbs has proven with her vetoes of bills from the legislature. Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes has also taken her office in a different direction than that of her predecessor, stopping an ongoing investigation into the ESG movement soon after she took her post. Mayes said at the time, “The state of Arizona is not going to stand in the way of corporations’ efforts to move in the right direction.”

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

Gov. Hobbs Says She Wishes She Vetoed More Bills

Hobbs Vetoes Carroll’s ESG Bill

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ historic veto streak has uncovered another disappointed legislator.

On Monday, Republican Senator Frank Carroll issued a press release to highlight Governor Hobbs’ veto of his bill, SB 1500, “which would have empowered (the) Arizona State Treasurer to eliminate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) consideration from all state investments by requiring investments be made in the sole interest of the taxpayer.”

Hobbs justified her reasoning for the veto in a customary letter to the Arizona Senate President, writing, “Politicizing decisions best made by the state’s investment professionals can harm our state’s long-term fiscal health.”

Senator Carroll was unhappy with the governor’s action on his proposal, saying, “My interest is in protecting taxpayer dollars and protecting pensions. I sponsored this bill to get politics out of the pensions of public employees and public officials who have earned the right to financial stability after dedicating their lives to public service. By definition, pecuniary means, ‘relating to or consisting of money.’ That is the criteria by which taxpayer dollars should be invested, not a social system used to push political agendas.”

The lawmaker’s release further explained why SB 1500 would have been so important for Arizona, stating, “An investment evaluation, conducted by the State Treasurer, must be based on financial and economic factors, and not to promote nonpecuniary benefits, other nonpecuniary social goals or take unnecessary investment risks. This bill aimed to protect government employees who pay into a retirement fund, where that money is then invested by the State Treasurer. The growing practice of ESG policies being imposed on companies is cause for concern, as it deviates from typical investing and business practices to consider non-financial information about a company, and ultimately prioritizes liberal ideology and goals over investor returns.”

SB 1500 was first passed by the Senate on February 28 with a 16-14 vote after clearing the Government Committee earlier in the month 5-3. When the bill was transmitted to the House of Representatives, it first obtained approval from the Government Committee before receiving the green light from the full chamber with a 31-27 vote (one member not voting and one seat vacant).

Senators Ken Bennett, David Gowan, Sine Kerr, Janae Shamp; and Representatives Michael Carbone, Neal Carter, Tim Dunn, Teresa Martinez, Quang Nguyen, Austin Smith, and Justin Wilmeth co-sponsored the legislation.

Representatives from the Climate Cabinet Action, Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter, and the Arizona Association of Counties expressed opposition to the bill as it made its way through the legislative process.

The governor’s veto continues an abrupt shift in state policy over the ESG issue, which has largely devolved into a Republican versus Democrat fight. Prior to 2023, Arizona had two statewide officials, who were extremely active in fighting back against the ESG movement with former Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Treasurer Kimberly Yee.

However, the transition of power in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office halted Brnovich’s investigative efforts into this movement. Kris Mayes, Arizona’s new top prosecutor, stopped an ongoing investigation from her predecessor, saying, “corporations increasingly realize that investing in sustainability is both good for our country, our environment, and public health and good for their bottom lines. The state of Arizona is not going to stand in the way of corporations’ efforts to move in the right direction.”

But State Treasurer Kimberly Yee continues to be an active opponent of ESG. Her office took several positions and actions against ESG during her first term, including revising the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office Investment Policy Statement to ensure that the Office “investments are not subject to the subjective political whims of the ESG standards.” Yee stated, “This is about maintaining American free-market principles that our country was founded upon and not allowing environmental or social goals to dictate how taxpayer monies are managed.”

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

Hobbs Vetoes Bill Aimed At Protecting Girls From Men In Bathrooms, Locker Rooms

Hobbs Vetoes Bill Aimed At Protecting Girls From Men In Bathrooms, Locker Rooms

By Daniel Stefanski |

Another Arizona Republican proposal to protect children has been rejected by the state’s Democrat governor.

On Thursday, Governor Katie Hobbs, vetoed SB 1040, which was sponsored by Senator John Kavanagh. The legislation, designated as the Arizona Accommodations for All Children Act, would have required “a public school to provide access to a single-occupancy or employee restroom or changing facility to a person who is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person’s sex or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters.”

In a letter to Senate President Petersen, explaining her reasoning for the veto, Hobbs wrote, “SB 1040 is yet another discriminatory act against LGBTQ+ youth passed by the majority at the state legislature. As I stated in my veto letter for SB 1001, I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.”

Kavanagh was outraged by the governor’s action against his bill, saying: “Women and young girls deserve privacy and their own protected bathrooms, showers and locker rooms where they can have such privacy and are safe from the risk of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Unfortunately, Democrat Legislators and Governor Hobbs are catering to an extremist culture by pushing ‘gender neutrality’ as a means to win political points from their liberal base while stealing dignity away from women and girls in the process. SB 1040 is about protecting our children while respecting the natural privacy rights of students. A 14-year-old female high school coed should not be forced to stand next to a naked, transgender female, who is actually an 18-year-old biological male. In a rush to become ‘trans inclusive,’ Governor Hobbs and fellow Democrats have forgotten about the needs of innocent young girls. This veto shows exactly how little they care to protect our female citizens.”

Progress Arizona cheered on Governor Hobbs’ veto, tweeting, “SB 1040, sponsored by Sen. Kavanagh, has been VETOED! SB 1040 targeted transgender students and teachers by prohibiting them access to public school restrooms.”

A day before Hobbs’ veto, the Arizona Senate Democrats warned about Republican “attacks on LGBTQ+ protection,” stating, “Rather than invest in our public school students and their future success, Republicans are more interested in culture wars and clickbait bill titles.”

Earlier this session, after his chamber gave the bill the green light, President Petersen had highlighted the lack of attention given to the legislation by the media, posting on Facebook, “We recently passed a bill out of the senate that said no boys in girls showers. All the democrats voted no. One of the democrats suggested we put up shower curtains as a solution. Zero coverage by the media. Lots of bills like that all the time. Zero coverage by the media.”

The first-year governor had already telegraphed her decision on SB 1040 and similar pieces of legislation three months ago, alerting the public that these bills were dead on arrival in the Governor’s Office under her administration: “On this International Women’s Day I want to make it clear that trans women are women, they are welcome here, and any bill that harasses or threatens their safety will swiftly meet my veto stamp.”

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