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Brewer vetoes light bulb bill, signs dozens more

In a surprise move, Gov. Jan Brewer on May 11 vetoed a proposal that aims to defy the federal government over the regulation of light bulbs, saying she supports the bill’s aim of sparking a 10th Amendment battle with the feds but that it would likely take years for the issue to be settled.

The bill, H2337, declares that any incandescent light bulb made in Arizona, and not exported outside the state, would be exempt from federal regulations.

Sen. Frank Antenori, a Tucson Republican, had said he hoped that the proposal would provoke a lawsuit with the federal government over its use of the U.S Constitution’s commerce clause.

Brewer said the goal of H2337 can be more easily achieved with another bill she signed in April, H2307, that states that any firearm manufactured wholly in Arizona is not subject to federal regulations if it is not sold outside the state.

Brewer wrote in her veto letter that the guns bill is a better way for Arizona to assert its 10th Amendment rights because the state would need to begin mining and processing tungsten, a critical component of incandescent light bulbs.

“I believe that the Firearms Freedom Act is the more immediate and practical vehicle for achieving this objective,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “HB2337 would take many more years to achieve its goal.”

The measure would have challenged the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which former President George W. Bush signed into law. That federal law sets energy efficiency standards for incandescent lamps. The federal law also requires the U.S. Department of Energy to set standards to reduce the energy consumption of light bulbs by the year 2020.

May 11 was the last day for Brewer to sign or veto bills. The Legislature sent her a total of 352 bills this session. Brewer enacted 338 of them and vetoed another 14.

Here are the bills Brewer signed:

H2627; county transportation excise tax; transit
H2629; self-defense; political subdivisions; weapon records
H2653; intergovernmental agreements; separate legal entities
H2661; statewide water augmentation authority; study
H2668; voting information; postsecondary students
H2722; schools; funding; nonresidents
H2725; education; omnibus
H2731; high schools; graduation; board examinations
H2733; department of education; data collection
H2003; revitalization districts
H2037; secretary of state; business services
H2113; provisional community colleges; property transfer
H2133; air quality nonattainment areas; designation
H2257; municipalities; counties; taxes; fees; notice
H2281; prohibited courses; discipline; schools
H2287; accommodation schools; levy limit recalculation
H2385; schools; ADM calculation
H2428; county zoning hearings; appeal
H2450; water and wastewater charges; payment
H2504; GPLET; lease records and reporting
H2545; professions; dismissed complaints; records
H2596; free exercise of religion
H2618; trustees; release and reconveyance deed
H2626; deeds of trust; foreclosure procedures
S1254; research; development; production; tax credit
S1308; schools; instruction; dating abuse
S1351; appraisal management companies
S1375; contractor payments
S1411; dairy farms; zoning; agricultural purpose

Brewer vetoed the following bills:

H2337; Arizona manufactured incandescent lightbulbs; regulation
H2462; private property trespass towers
H2475; riding between lanes; motorcycle operations
H2240; recovery audits; public funds
H2502; taxation of solar energy property
S1154; underground storage tanks


  1. It is worth commenting on the Arizona veto,
    also on a federal v state legal perspective relating to the other 9 local state bills (legislated Texas):
    All 10 state bills are linked with progress updates on

    It was a seemingly illogical Arizona veto reason,
    since the Governor the previous month signed the local Firearms act for locally made and distributed guns, similarly contravening federal regulations, and as seen a similarly constructed HB2307 bill text – but no local iron ore mining or processing for the guns.

    The US constitutional inter-state commerce clause is otherwise usually interpreted – as in the other state bills – as banning only significant non-generic component imports for local manufacture.

    In other words: Tungsten is used in many other applications, so can be imported – like iron of course can for guns, in that case.

    The more specifically applied tungsten filaments or special gun parts can not, so might have to be made locally.
    But it seems specific non-generic gun parts are imported to Arizona for assembly!

    Federal v local gun law issues include US manufacture of assault weapons for civilians (Hughes amendment to 1986 Firarms Act), as well as licensing and taxation, so such Arizona assault weapon manufacture by the federally licensed local makers contravenes federal law — just as much as the local manufacture of regular incandescent light bulb would.

    As always, it’s about local political support:
    The gun culture and the extensive manufacturing in Arizona, versus no current light bulb manufacturing, and perhaps lukewarm public support (at least until people realize the bulbs are disappearing, when it’s too late)

    So, whatever way one looks at this,
    a legally illogical passing of one bill, and not the other.

    a main issue to stop local production has been discerning locally made produce – as in indian reservations, or in post war wheat production in some states, or california marijuana production more recently.
    However, both guns and bulbs can obviously be stamped and discerned in that regard

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