Here are all the bills Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed in 2024

By Wayne Schutsky, Kirsten Dorman, Camryn Sanchez
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 - 12:22pm
Updated: Saturday, May 18, 2024 - 11:20am

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs shattered the state's veto record during the 2023 legislative session. And she's showing no signs of stopping in 2024.

Hobbs, a Democrat, denies accusations that her office refuses to work with Republicans.

"I’ve shown over and over again that I’m willing to work with anyone on real solutions. I ran on sanity versus chaos and I've said over and over again that I’ll work with anyone but I’ll also be the backstop," she said.

Hobbs says the legislation she’s vetoing is extreme.

Here are all the proposed measures Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed in the 2024 session so far.

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

House Bill 2095 — Scholarships; requirements; foster care students

SB1414 would have allowed students placed into foster care before graduating high school, or who received a GED, to apply for certain educational scholarships and tuition grants. The bill passed in the House and Senate on party lines without Democratic support. "This measure would have an estimated impact on the General Fund and should be considered in the full context of budget discussions, not as a standalone bill,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

Senate Bill 1473 — Agencies; single audit reports; penalty

SB 1473 would have imposed a financial penalty on state agencies that are late in filing a report on financial expenditures made using federal funds. In a veto letter, Hobbs suggested delays in reporting by agencies were caused by "a once in a generation influx of federal funding," alluding to federal dollars sent to states in respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The reporting delays experienced in the single audit were inherited from the previous administration," Hobbs wrote. "Our agencies are working diligently to rectify the extended reporting timeline."

House Bill 2063 — Exempt wells; certificate; groundwater use

HB2063 would have required that the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources give a certificate of water rights to certain well users. “Exempt” well users are those with bigger wells that pump water for irrigation purposes. Under the proposed law, they would have been issued these certificates. The bill passed through the Legislature without Democratic support. “This measure serves no water management purpose and would divert meaningful functions of this critical agency to unnecessary paperwork,” Hobbs said in her veto letter. “I have consistently stated that water policy needs to be addressed in a holistic manner that provides real solutions for the challenges we face throughout the state.”

House Bill 2124 — Agricultural operations; water; protection; definition

HB2124 would have prohibited the attorney general from bringing an action in Superior Court against any agricultural operations accusing them of being a public nuisance. That’s something state Attorney General Kris Mayes has indicated she intends to do in some parts of rural Arizona. The bill also would have awarded costs and attorney’s fees to agricultural operations if the court discerns that the action was filed to mitigate the operation’s water use. “I have consistently stated that water policy needs to be addressed in a holistic manner that provides real solutions for the challenges we face throughout the state,” Hobbs stated in her veto letter. It’s an identical statement repeated in other veto letters.

House Bill 2591 — Forced labor; child labor; prohibitions

HB2591 would have prohibited public power entities and public service corporations from entering into contracts with companies who use forced labor or child labor. It would also have established monetary penalties for each violation. “Current federal law addresses this prohibition,” Hobbs said in her veto letter.

Senate Bill 1060 — Federal candidates; observers; elections

SB1060 would have allowed candidates for federal office to choose representatives to observe proceedings at polling centers on their behalf. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the legislation was unnecessary. “Current statute adequately provides for the designation of observers,” Hobbs wrote.

Senate Bill 1129 — Unlawful occupants; property; removal

SB1129 would have allowed a property owner or their agent to ask law enforcement to immediately remove someone “unlawfully” occupying their residence. Anyone refusing to comply would be committing trespass. The bill garnered some bipartisan support, but Hobbs said in her veto letter that it “fails to leverage existing legal mechanisms, respect the due process rights of lawful tenants, and minimize unintended consequences, such as for victims of domestic violence.”

Senate Bill 1182 — Public schools; showers; reasonable accommodations

SB1182 would have required public schools to give transgender students access to a staff or single-occupancy shower if they submit “satisfactory evidence” that they are unable or unwilling to shower with the students of their sex. It would also allow someone to bring a cause of action against their school if they encountered anyone of a different sex in the showering area. The bill passed through the Legislature on party lines. “As I have said time and time again, I will not sign legislation that attacks Arizonans,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

Senate Bill 1340 — Public funds; foreign adversaries; divestment

SB1340 would have prohibited publicly managed funds from dealing with banks based in countries designated as foreign adversaries. It also would have dictated new requirements for the state Board of Investment. “This bill would be detrimental to the economic growth Arizona is experiencing as well as the State’s investment portfolio,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

Senate Bill 1414 — Organized retail theft; repetitive offenders

SB1414 would have categorized any person convicted of three or more violations of “organized retail theft” who intends to resell the stolen products to be sentenced as a category two repeat offender. Hobbs noted in her veto letter that she recently signed a bill into law establishing an Organized Retail Theft Taskforce at the Attorney General’s office. “I look forward to reviewing their policy recommendations and working together to find balanced policies for this matter,” Hobbs wrote.

House Bill 2002 — Power plants; transmission lines; definition

HB2002 would have excluded substations, and switchyards on substations, from the definition of a transmission line. The bill passed through the Legislature with some bipartisan support. Hobbs said in her veto letter that there are “more targeted approaches to adjust the Power Plant and Line Sitting Committee permitting process.”

House Bill 2328 — Mobile food vendors; operation; rules

HB2328 would have allowed mobile food vendors to park on private property in residential areas if certain requirements are met. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the bill was crafted without “input from key stakeholders” and “fails to strike the correct balance between deregulation and safety requirements.”

House Bill 2491 — Administrative Rules Oversight Committee; dissent

HB2491 would have allowed a person to file complaints with the Administrative Rules Oversight Committee about any policy that is not consistent with “legislative intent” or beyond the agency’s power. It also would have given the Legislature’s leaders the power to add new members to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council. “This legislation is unnecessary,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

House Bill 2581 — Physical presence; resident

HB2581 would have defined an Arizona resident as someone who has lived in the state for at least 181 days for the purposes of things like voter registration. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the proposed legislation “creates additional, unnecessary barriers for individuals registering to vote.”

House Bill 2646 — Power plants; public service corporations

HB2646 would have prohibited all public service corporations and public power entities from initiating a shut down of an electric generation facility within five years after providing written notice to certain members of the Legislature and the director of the Arizona Power Authority. “Arizona’s public service and public power utilities already complete, present, and file comprehensive resource plans that contemplate future demand growth. … Included in these plans are timelines for existing power plant closures,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter. She added that the bill would create unnecessary bureaucracy.

Senate Bill 1289 — DWR; hydrology reports 

SB 1289 would have required the Governor and Arizona Department of Water Resources to send reports on hydrologic conditions in Arizona’s five Active Management Areas to the legislatures committees on Natural Resources, Energy and Water 30 days before issuing those reports, which includes descriptions of available water resources in those areas. Hobbs vetoed the bill, saying the department already publishes information online. The legislation “would drown the Department in paperwork and bureaucracy that will interfere with its core mission of building a sustainable and secure water future for our state,” she wrote in a veto letter.

Senate Bill 1299 — traffic control; right on red

Under SB 1299, a registered engineer would have to determine that allowing a right turn during a red light is unsafe in a specific intersection before a government entity could prohibit right turns on red in that intersection. In a veto letter, Hobbs called the legislation redundant. She wrote local governments and the Department of Transportation already follow traffic engineering guidelines.

Senate Bill 1330 — on-site ballot tabulation; containers

SB 1330 replaced the term “drop box” with “ballot box” or “container” in legislation governing the use of on-site drop boxes to collect early ballots. Hobbs vetoed the bill, calling it “unnecessary.”

Senate Bill 1366 — regulatory sandbox; blockchain

SB 1366 would have expanded the types of innovative financial products and services that could apply with the Attorney General to participate in the Arizona Regulatory Sandbox program to include blockchain technology. The program gives people limited access to Arizona’s markets to test those new technologies. In vetoing the bill, Hobbs said the legislation is too broad and would undermine the purpose of the program. 

Senate Bill 1412 —  shoplifting; prior offenses

Under Arizona law, shoplifting can be considered a class 4 felony if the person who commits the crime had previously been convicted within five years of two or more similar offenses. SB 1412 would have excluded any time the person spent incarcerated, escaped from a correctional facility or on absconder status while on probation from the state’s calculations determining what constitutes a five-year period. In her veto letter, Hobbs said she is waiting for policy recommendations from the Attorney General’s Organized Retail Task Force.

Senate Bill 1509 — informed consent; signatures

SB 1509 would have required doctors and other healthcare providers prior to a surgical procedure to receive informed consent from the patient that includes the signatures of the provider, patient and a witness. Hobbs vetoed the bill and said it is already standard practice to receive informed consent from patients. 

Senate Bill 1628 — Sex-based terms; laws; rules; regulations

SB 1628 would replace every reference to "gender'' in state law with "sex.'' The former generally refers to how people identify themselves versus the latter which would be determined by biology at birth.  Critics argued the bill amounted to an attack on the transgender community. Hobbs vetoed the bill, saying it attacks Arizonans.

House Bill 2404 — Voter registration cards; mailing limitation

HB2404 Would have prohibited county recorders from issuing voter registration cards to people with mailing addresses outside the state, except in specific circumstances. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the bill is unnecessary. “Arizona statute and the Election Procedures Manual already outline the process when a voter provides a new residential address that is located outside the state,” she wrote. In the Legislature, only one of the 43 Democrats voted for the bill.

House Bill 2612 — Ballot collection conviction; public office

HB2612 would have prohibited a person from holding any elected public office in Arizona if the person is convicted of specified ballot abuse offenses, including the crime of knowingly collecting early ballots. “This legislation is unnecessary,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

House Bill 2393 — Presidential preference; parties; voting method

Requires political parties that choose not to participate in a presidential preference election, but select a nominee for president by a vote that is open to the entire political party membership to provide a method of voting to uniformed services or overseas citizens and persons with disabilities. The bill passed out of the Legislature on party lines without the support of Democrats. Hobbs said in her veto letter that if the state chooses to change the way parties conduct elections, it should be a bipartisan effort.

House Bill 2504 — Forced organ harvesting; insurance; prohibition

HB2504 would have banned health care institutions and research facilities from conducting genetic sequencing on devices produced by a company based in or controlled by a foreign adversary, and specifically China. It also would have allowed insurers and the state Medicaid program to limit coverage to people for using those sequencers. The bill’s sponsor said that forced organ harvesting in China was the impetus for the bill. Hobbs wrote in her veto letter that the bill includes “overbroad provisions” for genetic sequencing equipment that could create problems for Arizona hospitals, health care providers and researchers.

House Bill 2658 — Pedestrians; congregating; medians; intersections

HB2658 was vetoed on April 10.

House Bill 2125 — Annexation; notice; approval

HB2125 would have increased the amount of signatures required to annex a territory into Maricopa County from 50% to 60% of the property owners in the area. There are some unincorporated areas around Maricopa County proponents believe are facing annexation. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the bill “would favor the voices of some Arizonans over others, and create an unfair power imbalance in our communities.” The bill passed out of the House and Senate on party lines without Democratic support.

House Bill 2788 — United Nations; sustainable development; prohibition

HB2788 would have prevented Arizona from using public monies to adopt the same sustainable development agenda adopted by the United Nations. The UN’s goals include things like “quality education” and “clean water and sanitation.” The bill passed the Legislature on party lines without Democratic support. The proponents said the UN aims to limit people’s powers to do things like eat meat and use gas stoves, which is part of a “globalist agenda.” Hobbs argued in her veto that the UN goals include things that every Arizonan can support. “This bill would limit our ability to meaningfully address these issues,” she wrote.

House Bill 2586 — Harmful website content; age verification

HB2586 would have regulated the publication and distribution of material harmful to minors online. It would have penalized an entity for violating the law. Websites showing pornography would be required to verify the age of users. The bill was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and nearly every legislative Democrat. The website Pornhub disabled its website in Texas earlier this year when a similar law passed and was upheld. Hobbs said in her veto letter that the proposed legislation goes against settled case law but did not cite a case. “While we look for a solution, it should be bipartisan and work within the bounds of the First Amendment, which this bill does not,” Hobbs wrote.

House Bill 2793 — School policies; internet; wireless devices

HB2793 would have required school district governing boards, and charter school governing bodies, to enact policies restricting students’ access to the internet and their use of “wireless communication devices.” Bill proponents said it’s important to stop children from using their phones during class. The bill was partisan, and Democrats argued that it’s too restrictive, noting that many classrooms already have policies restricting phone use. Hobbs wrote in her veto letter that the language goes “against settled case law,” and that a solution should be both bipartisan and within the bounds of the First Amendment.

House Bill 2157 — Probation; termination; deportation

HB2157 would have prohibited a court from using a defendant's deportation as the only reason to end their probation early, but Democrats called it “a solution in search of a problem.” The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Selina Bliss (R-Prescott), said that under current law, someone facing deportation can leave the country, have their probation terminated and reenter the country off probation. But Democrats said that’s not the case, and in fact someone set to be deported who leaves the country is in violation of their probation and will be deported if they come back. “This legislation is unnecessary,” Hobbs wrote in her veto letter.

House Bill 2843 — Defense of premises; definition

HB2843 would have allowed anyone to use “force” against a trespasser on their property, beyond just their house and yard. Proponents of the bill argued that it would allow ranchers who own several acres to defend their land from trespassers if they encounter someone on a piece of their property away from their house. Hobbs argued in her veto letter that the bill would incentivise vigilantism, including “deadly force,” although the bill does not address deadly force. “The legislation as written values property over human life,” Hobbs wrote in her April 8 veto letter. The bill passed both the House and Senate on party lines.

Senate Bill 1073 — Obstruction highway; large event; classification

SB1073 would have made it a felony for protesters to block a highway, bridge or tunnel for more than 15 minutes after they’ve been told to leave. It would also make it a Class 6 felony, which carries a presumptive sentence of a year in state prison. Hobbs suggested the bill could have infringed on Constitutionally-protected rights. "It is critical that we approach these matters with precision to avoid infringing on Arizonans' freedoms,” Hobbs said in a veto letter on April 2.

Senate Bill 1343 — Agency review; rules; automatic expiration

SB1343 would have caused any rule for occupational licenses adopted by state agencies to automatically expire after five years unless the agency meets certain requirements, including publishing a report comparing the rule to similar licensure requirements in neighboring states. Agencies are already required to review their rules every five years, and Hobbs said the changes weren’t needed. "The rulemaking process that state agencies follow is rigorous, transparent, and essential to allowing the State government to function and serve Arizonans," Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2013 — Water improvements program; nonprofit corporations

HB2013 would have allowed nonprofits to create programs to provide financial assistance to residential property owners to make improvements to drinking water wells or create water delivery systems. Currently, only county boards of supervisors can create those programs. "This measure does nothing to move the needle on groundwater management or to provide the reforms that are desperately needed by rural communities who are facing depletion of their aquifers," Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2019 — Groundwater model; public inspection; challenge

Arizona law requires that most new developments in the state’s five Active Management Areas — areas where “significant groundwater depletion has occurred” — must prove they have a 100-year supply of water before construction can begin. HB2019 would have required the Department of Water Resources to allow the public to inspect groundwater modeling the department uses to make that determination. And it would require the department’s director to create a new process for a person to challenge that model. “This bill would create unnecessary bureaucratic processes that would delay further updates and release of information," from the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2027 — Subsequent AMAs; assured water supply

HB2027 outlined exemptions to a requirement that subdivisions located in new AMAs must obtain a certificate showing they have a 100-year supply of water. It exempted several types of developments, including subdivisions located in a municipality that adopts its own adequate water supply ordinance. The measure would not apply to the five original AMAs (Phoenix, Pinal, Prescott, Tucson and Santa Cruz). Currently, the measure would only apply to the Douglas AMA, which was established by voters in 2022. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs said the bill duplicates the process already taking place in the Douglas AMA.

House Bill 2031 — County supervisors; population; membership

Currently, a county needs a population of at least 150,000 before the county board of supervisors can ask voters to increase the size of the board from three to five supervisors. HB2031 would have decreased that population threshold to 125,000. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs called the bill “unnecessary.”

House Bill 2123 — Wells; water measuring devices; prohibition

HB2123 would have prohibited the state and local governments from requiring a water measuring device to be used in wells located in certain areas, including outside of Active Management Areas. Hobbs said the bill "contains technical, legal, and practical issues" that could interfere with cities, towns and irrigation districts' ability to measure water in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2183 — Parental rights; medical records

HB2123 would have required medical providers to provide parents with access to all electronic platforms that include their child’s medical records, even if parental consent is not required for the treatment in question. "This measure as written could put the health and safety of vulnerable Arizonans at risk," Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House 2184 — Brackish groundwater pilot program

HB2184 would have amended last year’s budget to require the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources to determine which agency section should oversee a pilot program to explore the use of desalination to recover brackish groundwater in Arizona’s Active Management Areas. The budget had required ADWR’s Active Management Area to oversee the pilot. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs said this bill should be considered in discussions of the state budget.

House Bill 2271 — Religious educational institution; special plates

HB2271 would have created a specialized license plate to benefit religious educational institutions. "Establishing special plates that benefit out of state private education institutions using public resources is not the best use of Arizona taxpayers' money," Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2309 — GPLET; agreement posting; abatement period

HB2309 would have modified the state’s government property lease excise tax program. The economic development tool allows municipalities to lease property to private developers in order to allow them to pay no property tax for eight years or replace the development’s property tax with a lower excise tax for 25 years. The bill would have reduced the complete tax abatement period from eight to four years. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs said the bill could be harmful to economic development efforts.

House Bill 2375 — Guaranteed income program; prohibition

HB2309 would have prohibited local governments from establishing any program that makes regular payments to residents as part of a guaranteed income program. Hobbs said the bill "could threaten programs Arizonans rely on such as housing, food, and emergency need programs if administered at the local level" in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2502 — SNAP; mandatory employment; training

HB2502 would have required “able-bodied” adults under 60 to participate in mandatory employment training to participate in Arizona's food assistance, or SNAP, program. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs said she was concerned how the bill would affect the economic well-being of program participants.

House Bill 2503 — SNAP; waivers; exemptions

HB2503 would have prohibited the Arizona Department of Economic Security from applying for or accepting any waiver of work requirements for Arizona's food assistance, or SNAP, program for able-bodied adults without dependents unless it is required by federal law. "This legislation would inhibit our state's ability to respond in these times to support Arizona families, retailers and farmers, and would instead place additional strain on food banks," Hobbs said in her April 2 veto letter.

House Bill 2629 — Schools; instruction; victims of communism

HB2629 would have designated November 7 as Victims of Communism Day and required public high schools to provide instruction on the history of communist regimes around the world. In her April 2 veto letter, Hobbs called the bill "too prescriptive in dictating instructional requirements to educational professionals." She asked the state Board of Education to instead consider the issues addressed in the legislation in the Social Studies Standards.

House Bill 2570 — Arizona Starter Homes Act

Hobbs on Monday, March 18, vetoed a bipartisan bill aimed at increasing Arizona’s housing supply, citing concerns from community leaders opposed to it. The Arizona Starter Homes Act reached Hobbs' desk after narrowly passing out of both chambers with a mix of Democratic and Republican support. It would have blocked municipalities from rejecting housing developments for a variety of reasons, like aesthetic design elements.

Senate Bill 1231 — Local arrests of migrants

Hobbs on Monday, March 4, quashed a bid by Republican legislators to allow state and local police arrest those who have entered the country illegally. "This bill does not secure our border,'' the governor said in a brief veto message. She also said it "will be harmful for communities and businesses in our state, and burdensome for law enforcement personnel.'' The Arizona legislation was modeled after a similar Texas law. And on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked that Texas measure from taking effect, at least until March 13, while it gives the U.S. Department of Justice the chance to weigh in.

Senate Bill 2100 — Administrative completeness review; licensing

On Friday, March 29, Hobbs vetoed a bill that would require state agencies to post on their websites lists of all items applicants need to complete when applying for licenses. The bill would have prohibited agencies from making decisions about an application based on documents not included in those lists unless the applicant can challenge that document before submitting an application. Hobbs wrote the bill "would add onerous processes to licensing agencies that would results in longer wait times for applicants and increased costs for state agencies."

More stories from KJZZ

Politics