Here's a list of all the Arizona bills Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed so far

By Ben Giles, Sky Schaudt, Greg Hahne, Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, March 30, 2023 - 2:00pm
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2023 - 1:49pm

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs inherited Janet Napolitano’s veto stamp when she took over the Ninth Floor — the last Democratic governor in Arizona to face a GOP-controlled Legislature. And she’s using it. 

On April 18, Hobbs vetoed 11 more bills sent to her by the Republican-controlled Legislature, bringing her total to 63 this session and shattering the record set in 2005 by fellow Democrat Janet Napolitano.

Here are all the proposed measures Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed in the 2023 session so far.

Gov. Katie Hobbs
Governor's Office
Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes the Arizona Legislature's budget on Feb. 16, 2023.

Basic budget plan

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Feb. 15 vetoed a partisan budget sent to her by legislative Republicans — a plan she described as hollow and one-sided. Because of the way the budget is prepared, Hobbs vetoed 13 measures when she rejected the plan. In a statement, Hobbs said the budget was an “insult” to Arizonans who need leaders to address affordable housing, invest in public education and put money back in their pockets. “Rather than tackling difficult choices, this budget presents Arizonans with false choices,” Hobbs said. “The purely-partisan budget says that we can’t invest in our state now and invest in our future. It says that we can’t address the challenges of today and save for the challenges of tomorrow. It says we can’t disagree with each other and work together in the best interest of the state.” The $15.8 billion spending plan introduced by Republicans and passed on party lines was pitched as a skinny budget — a baseline spending proposal that at least keeps the government afloat if negotiations over other spending goes sour.

Senate Bill 1184 — Eliminating tax on rentals

The bill vetoed  Feb. 23 would have eliminated taxes on apartments and rental homes. Hobbs said there was no guarantee landlords would pass along the savings to renters. The measure includes language requiring the savings flow to renters, but legislative lawyers say that may be unconstitutional. “If we are going to promise relief to renters, it's important that we are able to ensure they actually receive it,” Hobbs wrote in a veto letter. “For working families faced with ever-increasing rental prices, this proposal just doesn't fit the bill.”

Senate Bill 1248 — Eliminating the 'sunrise process'

Hobbs sided with doctors and against other medical providers in the latest round of an ongoing dispute over the process the latter group has to through to provide more services to the public. The governor on March 3 vetoed Senate Bill 1248 which would have eliminated the "sunrise process,'' one of the procedural hoops now required by health care professions seeking to expand their scope of practice. That involves additional hearings above and beyond actually getting legislators to change the law.

Senate Bill 1305 — Critical race theory in public schools

Arizona won't be banning what has been called critical race theory in public schools. In a brief message, Hobbs on March 9 vetoed legislation that its sponsor says would preclude schools from teaching what its prime sponsor called "pushing a destructive and racist ideology" in our schools. That is based on the assessment of Sen. J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) that some students are being taught that America as a whole is as racist country.

Senate Bill 1063 — Grocery tax

In a veto letter on March 28, the Democratic governor wrote that eliminating the grocery tax wouldn’t actually provide relief in municipalities that rely on that local revenue to fund services, like public safety. “It’s clear that this bill doesn’t actually eliminate costs for our residents,” Hobbs wrote. "It simply moves those costs around.” Republican lawmakers argued the bill would’ve eased the financial burden for Arizonans dealing with the inflated cost of groceries.

Senate Bill 1096 — Banks doing business with gun manufacturers and dealers

The bill would have barred banks and other firms in Arizona that do business with the state from refusing to do business with firearm companies. In a brief message to lawmakers on March 28, the governor accepted the arguments of the lobbyist for the Arizona Bankers Association that imposing such a requirement would result in some financial institutions choosing not to do business with state and local governments. And that would mean fewer banks bidding on government business.

Senate Bill 1024 — Tents and structures on public rights-of-way

Hobbs on March 30 struck down one bill that would’ve barred tents and other structures from public streets, highways, sidewalks or other rights-of-way.

Senate Bill 1250 — Religious exemption to certain vaccines

Hobbs rejected a measure on March 30 that would’ve enshrined a religious exemption to certain vaccines, like those for the flu or COVID-19, in Arizona law. Hobbs noted legal protections for religious beliefs already exist in federal law.

House Bill 2056 — Exempting some dry washes permit program

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed HB 2056 on April 4, which would have exempted dry washes and similar arroyos that don't flow steadily from certain requirements dealing with the discharge of pollutants. The governor said it would create "regulatory confusion and uncertainty'' because it would conflict with provisions of what the federal government determines are "Waters of the United States'' which are subject to protections.

House Bill 2427 — Increase penalty for aggravated assault against pregnant victims

Hobbs rejected HB 2427, a proposal by Rep. Matt Gress (R-Phoenix) which would increase the maximum possible penalty for aggravated assault in a domestic violence situation if the assailant knew or had reason to know the victim was pregnant. Gress acknowledged he had not spoken with domestic violence advocacy organizations — other than the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy. And Marilyn Rodriguez, representing the Arizona Coalition to End Domestic Violence testified against it. Hobbs, in her veto message on April 4, cited the group's stance that the bill "will do nothing to deter domestic violence offenses or support pregnant victims.''

House Bill 2440 — Utilities prioritizing 'reliable and affordable electric service'

The bill vetoed April 4 would have required utilities to give top priority to providing "reliable and affordable electric service'' when planning new generation facilities. Sandy Bahr who lobbies for the Sierra Club said that is looking at things too narrowly. She said there are other factors ranging from air pollution to even the amount of water a particular type of power plant would use. Hobbs said HB 2440 was "unnecessary and creates regulatory uncertainty in instances where affordability and reliability may be at odds.''

House Bill 2472 — Social credit score

The bill vetoed April 4 would would have barred the state from requiring a bank or financial institution to use a "social credit score'' when evaluating whether to lend money to a customer.

House Bill 2586 — Limiting messages on highway billboards

Hobbs refused on April 5 to limit those digital signs above and adjacent to state roads to only traffic safety messages. In wielding her veto stamp again, the Democratic governor said she could not agree to the proposal by Rep. Neal Carter (R-San Tan Valley) that it's inappropriate to display anything beyond warnings about accidents ahead, driving times to certain points and just general "drive safe'' advisories. His bill sought to limit messages to those "directly related to transportation or highway safety,'' calling anything else "a little bit distracting.''

House Bill 2535 — Limiting cities' ability to regulate private wells

Hobbs rejected HB 2535, which would have limited the ability of cities that annex unincorporated areas to regulate private wells that already were there.

"Prohibiting a municipality form requiring even the most basic of safety standards and regulations for groundwater wells threatens the safety and quality of drinking water that public utilities provide to residents and businesses throughout Arizona," she wrote on April 5, saying these could impact "our precious drinking water."

House Bill 2437 — Approval for new transmission lines

Hobbs vetoed HB 2437 on April 5. Current laws require approval of the Power and Line Siting Committee any time a new transmission line is planned. The measure would have said that isn't necessary if the line is being placed on property owned by at least one owner of the proposed line.

House Bill 2477 — Affirming the Electoral College

Hobbs rejected HB 2477 on April 5, saying there was no reason for it. Crafted by Rep. Steve Montenegro (R-Goodyear) it had no legal effect. Instead, it simply expressed the opinion of the Legislature — or, at least the Republicans in the majority who voted for it — that the Electoral College is the best way of selecting the president because it involves all parts of the country in the process. Hobbs said if lawmakers want to express their preferences they could do that with a simple resolution, not something put into state statutes.

Senate Bill 1600 — Reporting requirements for abortions

Hobbs on April 6 rejected a proposal to spell out what procedures medical personnel must follow when a baby is born alive, even in situations where there is no chance of survival. "The bill is uniformly opposed by the medical community, and interferes with the relationship between a patient and doctor," Hobbs wrote. "It's simply not the state's role to make such difficult medical decisions for patients."

House Bill 2415 — Permanent early voting list change

HB 2415 would have removed individuals from the permanent early voting list if they miss an election cycle. In the letter April 6, Hobbs said she did not support the bill, as it would not make voting more accurate, accessible or secure. In approving the bill earlier this week, Republican Sen. John Kavanagh argued voters could easily get back on the early list.

Senate Bill 1074 — Tabulating machine rules

Hobbs vetoed SB 1074, a bill that said vote tabulating machines must be manufactured domestically. The measure, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu City), also would have required the equipment to meet or exceed security standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense. "The election equipment required by the bill, as well as the problem is purports to solve, does not exist," Hobbs wrote. "This bill neither strengthens our democracy, nor ensures that Arizonans can better exercise their fundamental right to vote."

Senate Bill 1009 — Punishment for damaging monuments

SB 1009 would have made defacing statues and monuments a more serious crime in Arizona. In her letter rejecting the measure April 6, Hobbs said Arizona “law already provides adequate tools to prosecute criminal damage in this bill, including Confederate monuments …”

Senate Bill 1253 — Sex offender notification

SB 1253 would have "required registered sex offender who is the legal guardian of a student to notify the school of their status," according to a March press release from Arizona House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci. In her April 6 rejection of the measure, Hobbs said the state already has guidelines for the registration of sex offenders and the "Department of Public Safety remains best equipped to oversee all community notification."

House Bill 2322 — Ballot signature verification standards

The April 6 veto of HB 2322 on signature verification standards came as a bit of a surprise as 16 of the 29 House Democrats actually voted in support. It even included a change sought by Rep. Laura Terech (D-Phoenix). It would have spelled out in statute that procedures for verifying signatures on early ballot envelopes — procedures prepared by Hobbs as secretary of state — constitute "the minimum requirements for comparison of signatures." Any that could not be verified would have to be rejected. Hobbs said "the standards in this bill are already several years old" and they are better addressed in a separate election procedures manual.

Senate Bill 1166 — State job applicants without college degrees

Hobbs on April 7 vetoed legislation which would have barred state agencies from rejecting an applicant simply because he or she does not have a college degree. In her veto message, he governor said there's nothing wrong with the goal of SB 1166. Where it comes up short, she said, is that the mechanism it sought to set up is overly complex and cumbersome.

House Bill 2442 — Temporary non-expansion areas

HB 2442 would have allowed the creation of "temporary non-expansion areas'' for groundwater use. But Hobbs in her April 11 veto said these would not really address the long-term issues of rural pumping, saying such a district would provide less protection for aquifers than an already available "irrigation non-expansion area,'' lasts for only five years and provides greater protection for "grandfathered'' water rights of those already pumping.

House Bill 2212 — Trespassing on utility sites

HB 2212 would have expanded state laws to allow $10,000 fines against anyone who interferes with normal operations of utilities. "This bill will do little to deter threats to our critical facilities,'' the governor said in her April 11 veto message, adding that this conduct already is covered by existing state and federal laws.

Senate Bill 1109 — Firearm silencers

SB 1109 would have repealed a provision of Arizona law that prohibits the use of "silencers'' on weapons. In her April 11 veto letter, Hobbs said that would "make Arizonans less safe.'' But the bill and her action are largely legally meaningless as Arizonans can, in fact, purchase such devices now from licensed dealers as long as they have a proper federal permit.

Senate Bill 1027 — Increase penalties for fentanyl possession

SB 1027 would have increased the penalty for the possession and manufacture of the highly addictive narcotic fentanyl. The governor said in her April 11 veto letter that its provisions could undermine Arizona's "Good Samaritan Law'' which protects those who report overdoses by others from being arrested, charged or prosecuted.

Senate Bill 1005 — Parents legal fees

Saying it will only promote more litigation, Gov. Katie Hobbs on April 11 vetoed legislation that would let parents sue schools but escape having to pay legal fees if they lose. Sen. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) pointed out that, in general, when there is a lawsuit, the loser pays the costs incurred by the winner. His legislation sought to create a carve-out when the lawsuit is brought by a parent against a school district for violating any provision in the Parents' Bill of Rights.

Senate Bill 1236 — No fees for blockchain networks

SB 1236 would have prohibited local governments from taxing or assessing fees on anyone running a blockchain “node” — a device that runs software necessary to support a decentralized network — in their homes. The governor stated in her April 12 veto that the bill too broadly defines “blockchain technology.”

Senate Bill 1251 — Working animals

Local governments would have been barred from restricting, or prohibiting, the use of a “working animal” in lawful commerce or for an animal enterprise. Hobbs said in her April 12 veto the bill was a solution in search of a problem.

House Bill 2552 — No ranked-choice voting

HB 2552 was one of several legislative efforts by Republicans to curb the potential use of ranked-choice voting in Arizona. Hobbs said in her April 12 veto that ranked-choice voting is successfully used elsewhere in the country, but that's besides the point — because no Arizona jurisdiction uses ranked-choice voting, she said the bill was unnecessary.

House Bill 2675 — Terrorist drug cartels

HB 2675 would have declared that drug cartels are terrorist organizations. In her April 12 veto, Hobbs said that labeling cartels in this manner solved nothing, and is not a state function.

House Bill 2754 – Human smuggling enterprises

BB 2754 would have specified nongovernmental organizations can be held criminally liable for the crime of participating in a human smuggling operation. In her April 12 veto, Hobbs stated that the bill could have unintended consequences for organizations that support immigrants.

House Bill 2297 — Cases of fraudulent schemes and artifice

Hobbs rejected HB 2297on April 17, which would have said that prosecutors pursuing cases of fraudulent schemes and artifices are not required to establish that all of the unlawful acts occurred within the state. "This bill will lead to confusion where none currently exists,'' Hobbs said in her veto message. "Existing state law adequately outlines the jurisdictional issues addressed in this bill.''

House Bill 2319 — Conduct of elections

HB 2319 would have directed judges, when confronted with two conflicting interpretations of a state election law, to err on the side of which promotes more transparency. "This bill adds unnecessary language into statute and does not solve any of the real challenges facing election administration,'' the governor wrote on April 17. "I look forward to working with the Legislature on bills to do that.'' Rep. Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) who crafted the bill, acknowledged much of this wouldn't be necessary if lawmakers crafted clearer statutes.

House Bill 2332 — Firearms training for students

HB 2332, proposed by Rep.Selina Bliss (R-Scottsdale), would have required public and charter schools to provide "age-appropriate'' training in firearms safety to students in grades six through 12.

"Mandatory firearm safety training in schools is not the solution to gun violence prevention,'' the governor wrote on April 17. She said the requirement could have "immediate and long-term impacts'' on the health and well-being of students, teachers and parents, though Hobbs did not spell out what those were.

Senate Bill 1131 — Weapons on school campus

Proposed by Sen. Janae Shamp (R-Surprise), SB 1131 sought to create an exception to existing laws that preclude loaded guns on school property. It would have allowed parents who have a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon to keep it with them if they also have a child at that school. "Allowing more guns on campus will not make a campus safer,'' Hobbs wrote on April 17. "Then there's the fact that police officers, arriving at a school with an active-shooter situation, won't necessarily know who are the criminals who are armed and who are the parents.

House Bill 2379 — Hotel vouchers

Hobbs rejected HB 2379, which would have spelled out in state law that hotels and motels cannot be required to accept government-issued vouchers to house homeless people. "Hotels and motels in Arizona have never been required to accept a voucher to house someone, and no proposal to do so is under consideration here," the governor said April 18. Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, conceded the point when he pushed the legislation. But he said it is happening in Los Angeles and he did not want the practice to spread.

House Bill 2394 — No messing with guns (financially)

HB 2394 declared Arizona’s sovereign authority to prevent the state or any local governments therein from using resources to “enforce, administer or cooperate” with a law, treaty, order or rule that might create a “chilling effect” on gun ownership. Hobbs, in an April 18 veto letter, wrote that the bill would exempt the firearm industry from basic regulation that apply to all other industries.

House Bill 2474 — Student vaccinations

HB 2474, sponsored by Rep. Steve Montenegro (R-Goodyear), would have barred the health department from ever requiring students to get immunized against any ailment to attend school if the vaccine has received only "emergency use authorization" from the federal Food and Drug Administration.

"Vaccines are vitally important for the health and wellness of our state," the governor wrote on April 18, saying the legislation would "undermine public trust" in FDA-approved vaccines.

House Bill 2509 — Cottage foods

Hobbs rejected HB 2509 on April 18, which would have expanded the kinds of foods prepared in home kitchens could be sold in Arizona. Current law exempts certain kinds of "cottage foods" from oversight by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The veto was a surprise, as the measure had wide bipartisan support. "This bill would significantly increase the risk of food-borne illness by expanding the ability of cottage food vendors to sell high-risk foods," Hobbs wrote. "It fails to establish sufficient minimum standards for inspection or certification of home-based businesses, and could limit the ability of ADHS to investigate food-borne disease outbreaks."

House Bill 2691 — Chain-of-custody requirements for ballots

HB 2691 would have set out specific chain-of-custody requirements for handling ballots. "I am eager to work with the Legislature to advance legislation that strengthens our elections," Hobbs wrote April 18. "This bill, unfortunately, does not advance that goal."

Senate Bill 1021 — Attorney general’s duties

SB 1021 would have required the attorney general — now Democrat Kris Mayes — to defend whatever the legislature approves. "The attorney general like all other elected officials swears an oath to support the Constitution and laws of Arizona and the United States,'' the governor wrote in her April 18 veto letter. What that means, Hobbs said, is when the attorney general decides what to defend — and what not — she has to consider all of that.

Senate Bill 1091 — Transition services for prisoners

SB 1091 would’ve required the ARizona Department of Corrections to allow non-contracted private or nonprofit entities to help provide inmates with transition services when they’re released from prison. Hobbs wrote in her April 18 veto that the bill would result in less transparency and oversight over transition services.

Senate Bill 1101 — More power for third-party driver license providers

SB 1101 would have barred the Arizona Department of Transportation from prohibiting third-party driver license providers from printing electronic certificates of title, registration tabs or windshield stickers. In her April 18 veto, Hobbs stated that allowing third parties to print such labels poses a significant public safety risk.

Senate Bill 1262 — Felony violation rearrest

SB 1262 would have required a court to promptly issue a warrant for the rearrest of someone who is charged with a felony while on probation.

"This bill raises due process concerns," Hobbs wrote April 18.

Senate Bill 1455 — Vacant public offices

Current law states that if a person holding a public office fails to discharge the duties of that office for three consecutive months, the office is vacant — with the exception of legislative offices. SB 1455 would’ve cut that time in half, to 45 days. In her April 18 veto letter, Hobbs said she appreciated the bill’s intent but thought it unnecessary at this time.

Senate Bill 1565 — AI in the election process

SB 1565 would have precluded the use of artificial intelligence anywhere in the election process, including screening signatures on ballot envelopes to see if they match. Maricopa County had used AI-assisted scanners in 2020 to see if there were signatures on envelopes but then said all were still checked by humans. At this point, Hobbs wrote April 18, the legislation "attempts to solve challenges that do not currently face our state."

House Bill 2759 – Human trafficking crimes

HB 2759 would make a person who facilitates human trafficking, or knowling benefits from a trafficking operation, liable for damages to the person who was harmed. In vetoing the bill on April 28, Hobbs wrote that stakeholders agree the measure could do more harm than good by furthering victimizing trafficking victims.

Senate Bill 1255 – Legislative rulemaking oversight

SB 1255 would have given the GOP-controlled legislature oversight of certain rules in Arizona, if there was an estimated increase of $500,000 or more in regulatory burden caused by the rule. Hobbs vetoed the bill on May 9, writing that the Legislature can sponsor bills if they disagree with rulemaking by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.

Senate Bill 1252 – Maltreatment oversight

SB 1252 would have established a 14-member Independent Maltreatment Fatality and Near Fatality Review Committee, tasked with analyzing the state’s child safety system for abuse. Hobbs vetoed the bill on May 9, explaining that such oversight of the Department of Child Safety already exists.

House Bill 2444 – Natural resource conservation

HB2444 would have made various changes to state law governing natural resource conservation districts, as well as created a dedicated fund for those districts and a new commission tasked with overseeing the fund. Hobbs vetoed the bill on May 16 because no funding was provided to pay for the new commission.

House Bill 2312 – Gender discrimination

HB 2312 would have allowed domestic violence centers to ban biological males from working at those facilities. Hobbs wrote in a May 16 veto letter that the bill does nothing to help victims of domestic violence, but instead allows providers to discriminate on the basis of sex.

House Bill 2428 – Expanding the teachers academy

HB 2428 would have expanded the Teachers Academy program that provides scholarships to prospective public school teachers to students attending private and religious colleges. That program, created in 2017, provides one year of college tuition for students at public community colleges and universities in education programs in exchange for each year of teaching in an Arizona public school. Hobbs vetoed the bill on May 16 over financial concerns.

House Bill 2667 – Guns on college campuses

HB 2667 would have allowed those with concealed carry permits to bring guns onto college or university campuses. When vetoing the bill on May 16, Hobbs wrote that allowing guns to be carried or stored on campus “could lead to greater anxiety among students, staff and faculty.”

House Bill 2544 – Arizona-modified firearms

HB 2544 declared that firearms and ammunition “modified” in Arizona is not subject to federal law or regulation. Hobbs rejected the bill on May 16, warning of ambiguity in the enforcement of state and federal laws.

House Bill 2613 – U.S. manufactured voting equipment

HB 2613 stated that machines cannot be used to conduct elections unless 100% of the parts and components are produced in the United States and the machines themselves are manufactured and assembled in this country. The measure was opposed by many lawmakers who argued that there are currently no such devices on the market, a point Hobbs cited in her May 16 veto letter.

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