Hobbs vetoes bill banning elected officials from lobbying

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a bill that would have barred public officials from being lobbyists while in office, arguing it would have been a violation of free speech.

The bill, introduced by House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu, was one of 14 bills vetoed by Hobbs in one day. It had passed in the House with a vote of 31-26 and the Senate 16-13. Hobbs vetoed HB 2377 on May 19. The Arizona governor has now surpassed 100 vetoes this year.

“In its current form, this bill creates meaningful first amendment concerns through its definition of lobbying,” Hobbs said in a letter to Speaker of the House Ben Toma, R-Phoenix.

The dead bill also stated that public officials should not be able to share confidential information learned in office with their private employers or use their elected position to secure an outside profit.

Biasiucci responded on May 22 with a tweet.

“Just received a letter today from Governor Hobbs that she vetoed my bill on Friday. Which bill did she veto? She vetoed my bill that would make it illegal for an Elected Official to also be a Lobbyist. Good Luck explaining that veto to the voters!” he said.

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