Apr 7, 2023 - News

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs' veto stamp gets a workout

Photo illustration of Katie Hobbs with lines radiating from her.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

After just three months in office, Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed more bills than any Arizona governor not named Janet Napolitano.

State of play: Hobbs has now vetoed 37 bills, the third-most in a single session of any governor in Arizona history.

  • She nixed 17 bills this week, pushing her above the totals from former Republican Govs. Jane Hull, Jan Brewer and Doug Ducey.
  • The top two spots on the all-time veto list belong to Napolitano, who set the record of 58 in 2005 and vetoed 43 in 2006.

Details: Hobbs struck down eight bills on Thursday, including:

  • SB 1600, which would have required doctors to provide "medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment" to any infant born alive, regardless of its chances of survival, and that they "be treated as a legal person." State law already requires such medical care for a baby born alive during an abortion, while the bill doesn't limit medical care to those circumstances.
  • Hobbs said she vetoed the bill, which faced opposition from the medical community, because it interferes with doctor-patient relationships and because it's not the state's role to make medically difficult decisions.
  • She vetoed SB 1009, which would have stiffened penalties for damaging or vandalizing monuments and statues.
  • And Hobbs, Arizona's former secretary of state, vetoed HB 2322, which would have codified requirements for verifying voters' signatures on early ballots, saying those guidelines are already in state policy and should be developed by state and county election officials.

Zoom out: Earlier this week, Hobbs vetoed bills that would have increased penalties for domestic violence against pregnant women, barred banks from using "social credit scores" for borrowers, affirmed support for the Electoral College and limited regulations on home-based businesses.

  • And she vetoed legislation that would bar the Arizona Department of Transportation from putting most messages unrelated to traffic or highway safety on its electronic freeway signs, a move that was inspired by some GOP lawmakers' frustration over COVID safety and pro-vaccine messages.

Of note: Thirteen of the bills Hobbs vetoed this week got to her desk without a single Democratic vote.

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