Laurie Roberts: Katie Hobbs will veto 2,000+ bills next year

PHOENIX — Three local political journalists predicted Friday that Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs might need more than one veto pen during the upcoming legislative session.

Arizona PBS host Ted Simons asked his guests during the most recent taping of “Arizona Horizon” how many vetoes they believe Hobbs will issue in 2023, and the answers suggest a contentious battle brewing between the governor-elect and Republican lawmakers:

  • Laurie Roberts, columnist at the Arizona Republic: “Two-thousand-one-hundred-and-forty-three. The record, I believe, is Janet Napolitano, the Democratic governor who had a Republican legislature, and I think her record was 58, so I’m going to go with 59 just because Hobbs is going to want to do things just a little better.”

  • Jeremy Duda, reporter at Axios Phoenix: “I’m going to say 30, which would be more than any governor except for Napolitano — she had three years, I believe, that exceeded that — but I think because the Republicans’ majorities are so narrow they might have some trouble getting some of these bills to her desk in the first place.”

  • Howie Fischer, reporter at Capitol Media Services: “I’m more in line with Jeremy in the sense that I think they’re going to try to figure out: ‘How do we work with her rather than just sending things to her for the sake of her vetoing it?’ Even if there are going to be some election bills, I think it’s going to be more in the neighborhood of two dozen.”

Hobbs appears ready to meet their predictions. The Democrat has threatened on several occasions since the November election to veto Republican bills and impose her policy agenda “without legislative approval,” both of which have contributed to increased tensions with the state legislature.

Christine Jones, the former general counsel and executive vice president at GoDaddy, warned on television earlier this month that Hobbs should avoid gaining a reputation as “the ‘no’ governor,” which is “not helpful” to anyone.