Hobbs vetoes mainly partisan bills, draws ire for nixing elections legislation 

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Gov. Katie Hobbs speaks at the Capitol on April 6, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Hobbs vetoes mainly partisan bills, draws ire for nixing elections legislation 

So far this session Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed 92 bills, 22 of which had the support of at least one legislative Democrat, leading to criticism from Republicans about her treatment of bipartisan bills. 

Hobbs vetoed a handful of bills on Monday, including House Bill 2560, which brought outrage from one of the co-sponsors, Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott. 

“I couldn’t be more furious at the governor’s decision to disregard the need for complete transparency in our elections,” Bennett said in a press release from the Senate Majority. He accused Hobbs of “going back on her promise to support legislation with bipartisan support by vetoing yet another.” 

Of the 22 bills Hobbs vetoed that had at least one Democrat in support, 17 had some Democratic support in one chamber but passed the other chamber on party lines.  

Five vetoed bills this session had support from some Democrats in each chamber.  

Rep. David Cook, R-Globe’s, striker on Senate Bill 1101 had the most Democratic support of any vetoed bill. It passed the Senate 28-1 and the House 53-5. 

The most veto controversy so far came from House Bill 2509. Sponsored by Rep. Travis Grantham, R-Gilbert, the bill would have expanded the rights of cottage food license holders. Hobbs’ veto was a surprise and an override effort failed. 

The bill cosponsored by Bennett did not have any support from House Democrats, but it passed the Senate 19-9 with the support of three Democrat Senators: Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix, Eva Burch, D-Mesa, and Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson. Those three Democratic ‘yes’ votes made it one of the only bipartisan election bills to move through the Legislature in the past couple of years.  

The bill also had the support of Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, and the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. 

It was opposed by a few groups, including the Arizona Association of Counties. 

The bill would have required the secretary of state’s website to post a list of all eligible voters, a list of everyone who voted in an election, all the ballot images used and a cast vote record. 

Hobbs said in her veto letter that she believes the bill is well-intentioned, but it will “create more harm than good” for election officials and voters. She cautioned that the bill could threaten “anonymity and privacy” and open the door to disinformation and misinformation about elections. “Finally, it places a burdensome, unfunded mandate on our election officials, who already face a multitude of challenges going into the 2024 election cycle,” Hobbs wrote.  

Bennett disagreed with that assessment. “There is nothing in this bill that would have disclosed information to threaten either,” he said. “Voters’ identities would be protected. This bill would have helped eliminate mis- and dis-information and is a solution to this serious issue.” He didn’t address the funding concern. 

Hobbs has signed 158 bills into law so far this session. Every single one had the support of more than one legislative Democrat. 

Just nine of the bills that Hobbs has signed only had Democrat support in one chamber. The vast majority had broad bipartisan support in both. 

Most of the signed bills had a Republican as their primary sponsor, but six were Democrat bills. Rep. Amish Shah, D-Phoenix, got three bills signed, the most of any legislative Democrat.  

Rep. Melody Hernandez, D-Tempe, Sen. Eva Diaz, D-Tolleson, and Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, each had one bill signed.