Log in


Hobbs vetoes 10 more bills, brings total to 52 on the session

Posted 4/23/24

PHOENIX — Gov. Katie Hobbs has quashed legislation that could have barred students from other states attending college in Arizona from voting in elections here.

Her action on House Bill …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Hobbs vetoes 10 more bills, brings total to 52 on the session


PHOENIX — Gov. Katie Hobbs has quashed legislation that could have barred students from other states attending college in Arizona from voting in elections here.

Her action on House Bill 2581 is just one of several similar moves she took on measures approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Other vetoes Tuesday include:

• Defining who can shower with whom in public schools;

• Setting up new procedures to deal with squatters invading homes;

• Requiring enhanced sentences for those convicted of multiple incidents of “organized retail theft.”

But Hobbs found more areas of agreement with GOP lawmakers than disagreements, signing 12 measures while vetoing a total of 10. Still, it brought the number of bills she has rejected this session to 52.

HB 2581 was being pushed by Rep. John Gillette.

The Kingman Republican said there is no clear standard in state law when someone becomes a “resident.” And that, he said can create problems when determining the rights and responsibilities of an individual.

He cited a email he got from a “snowbird” who normally lives in Pennsylvania. Gillette said she got into an accident and was questioned about why she didn’t have an Arizona driver’s license.

The problem, he said, is laws on who is a “resident” conflict.

For example, the Motor Vehicle Code says individuals have to register their vehicles and get an Arizona license immediately if they work here other than in a seasonal agricultural job, register to vote, or place children in public schools without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.

Mohave County Assessor Jeanne Kentch told lawmakers there are other issues, like when is someone who has a house here entitled to special treatment such as an assessment freeze available to some seniors. Ditto who is entitled to have a home in Arizona designated as a primary residence.

Gillette said his bill would standardized that by defining “resident” as someone who has “actual physical presence” in the state for at least 181 days with intent to remain.

But Alex Gulotta said he sees a different motive.

“This is designed to keep college students from voting in Arizona,” said the state director of All Voting is Local. He said it would override existing laws that allows individuals to register to vote 29 days before the election.

Gillette acknowledged the measure could prevent a student from registering to vote in Arizona. But he said that’s not his primary concern.

“That’s heartburn on the left,” he said.

“They live with their parents,” Gillette said. “But they’re on vacation to school essentially.”

And he said those students should cast an absentee ballot in their home state.

But Gillette noted the exceptions in his legislation to that 181-day rule.
For example, Gillette said, someone could show an intent to be a resident by taking certain actions, like getting a job, buying or renting residential property, or enrolling children in a school district or charter school. And if the individual met one of the conditions of showing residency, that 181-day requirement to register to vote would not apply.

But Gulotta said it shouldn’t be necessary for those who move here and want to participate in voting to have to take any of those actions to be considered a resident and being entitled to cast a ballot.

“It’s very likely they can’t even meet the exceptions,” he said.

And he said it’s not just about students.

“Even the snowbird who moves here from wherever, they’re not eligible to vote until they establish that they’re eligible to vote,” Gulotta said.

Hobbs, in her veto message, agreed.

“This bill creates additional, unnecessary barriers for individuals registering to vote,” she wrote.

The legislation on showers is the latest bid by Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, to address the question of transgender students attending public schools.

His first proposal, going back a decade, would have made it a crime for someone to enter a restroom or locker room that did not match the person’s biological gender. That bill went nowhere.

Last year Kavanagh was back with a plan to say that a public school must provide a reasonable accommodation to any person who is, for any reason, unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupant restroom or changing facility designed for their sex.

That was defined to include any single-occupancy or employee restroom or changing facility. And it precluded any facility designed for use by individuals of the opposite sex “while persons of the opposite sex are or could be present.”

Hobbs vetoed that, calling it “yet another discrminatory act against LBGBTQ+ youth.”

So Kavanagh was back this year with Senate Bill 1182 that narrowed the scope of the law to just showers, defining sex “as determined by anatomy, physiology,