Arizona Governor Doug Ducey vetoed 22 bills on Friday, including pro-election integrity legislation and a bill that would restrict critical race theory in the state.
In a letter to Arizona legislative leaders, Ducey announced that he had vetoed 22 pieces of legislation, claiming that the “priority” for the state needs to be on “passing a budget for Arizonans.” With one month left in the fiscal year, the legislature still has yet to pass the budget. Ducey argued that even though some of the bills he vetoed were “good policy,” they “can wait.” Until the budget passes, he will not be signing any more bills that come onto his desk, he confirmed.
Today, I vetoed 22 bills. Some are good policy, but with one month left until the end of the fiscal year, we need to focus first on passing a budget. That should be priority one. The other stuff can wait. 1/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) May 28, 2021
Once the budget passes, I’m willing to consider some of these other issues. But until then, I will not be signing any additional bills. Let’s focus on our jobs, get to work and pass the budget. 3/3
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) May 28, 2021
The bills that Ducey vetoed were of course written to cover a wide range of topics, with two rather significant defeats. HB 2792, sponsored by State Representative Jake Hoffman, was a crucial piece of election integrity legislation, which would ban the mass mailing of ballots to voters that did not request them. And as National File reported, SB 1074, also originally introduced by Hoffman, bans public entities from promoting or using taxpayer dollars to fund anti-white critical race theory training. (READ MORE: ARIZONA: State Senator Wendy Rogers Reports From Maricopa Audit Floor, Says Results Could Be ‘Legally Actionable’)
In a statement, House Speaker Rusty Bowers said that he was disappointed in the vetoes from Ducey. “Truthfully, I’m not happy about it,” Bowers said, but that it was a valuable “civics lesson reminder that it takes 31-16-1 to be successful here. Sometimes we forget about the one.” National File reported last December that Bowers in his position as Speaker refused to commit to a legislative hearing over the results of the 2020 presidential election, claiming that he couldn’t enforce the Constitution regarding presidential electors.
Those who stood for a more pro-America First message went far harder in slamming Ducey. Dr Kelli Ward, the chairman of the Arizona GOP, said it was “ridiculous” that Ducey vetoed the bills given that the legislative branch had passed them all after working “all session” on them. “This tyrannical approach is dangerous to what We The People in Arizona support,” she added. Kari Lake, a veteran journalist in the state who left Fox 10 in March over claims the media was unbalanced, said that “nobody wins” with Ducey’s actions, “especially the people of Arizona.”
Ridiculous. Twenty two bills that the legislative branch worked all session on. Bills that went through the process & passed & went to the executive’s desk. This tyrannical approach is dangerous to what #WeThePeople in AZ support. #ElectionIntegrity #StopCRT https://t.co/AvW2D2xdPp
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) May 28, 2021
When an executive is focused on working with the legislature to solve challenges, everyone wins.
With today’s vetoes, nobody wins.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) May 29, 2021
State Representative Mark Finchem, who is currently running to replace Democrat Katie Hobbs as Arizona’s Secretary of State, told Steve Bannon’s War Room that Ducey’s behavior was basically a “manchild temper tantrum,” and that it is just retaliation for the Legislature refusing to pass “a budget that has so much pork in it, you’d think we were going to a barbecue.” Finchem said Ducey was “attempting to act as a petty dictator,” especially given that the Legislature still had 30 days to pass a budget. “For him to do something like this is beyond the pale,” he added, noting he would no longer defend Ducey from recall petitions.