Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs 2 executive orders on homelessness, elections

Jan 6, 2023, 5:00 PM

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs continued her First 100 Days Initiative with a pair of executive orders on Friday.

The first — and second signed since Hobbs took office — reinstates a commission on homelessness and housing that was abolished in 2020. The other order signed on Friday establishes a bipartisan elections task force.

Executive Order 2 creates the Governor’s Interagency and Community Council on Homelessness and Housing, which will be chaired by the sitting governor of Arizona. The council will plan and develop policies aimed at addressing homelessness in the state.

Co-chairs will be directors of the Department of Economic Security and the Department of Housing. The council will consist of 13 members appointed by the governor.

A work group with staff from each state agency represented on the council, a statewide homelessness advocacy group and other public and private entities chosen by the council will provide recommendations and report their activities.

“We cannot deny that Arizona is in a homelessness and affordable housing crisis, and we need all hands on deck,” Hobbs said in a press release. “Both homelessness and housing are multifaceted issues, and we need a multifaceted approach to improving the situation for so many Arizonans who are struggling.”

More than 37,000 people received homelessness services in 2021.

A 2010 executive order signed by Jan Brewer introduced the Governor’s Arizona Commission on Homelessness and Housing, but a 2020 order by Doug Ducey disbanded the group.

Executive Order 3 established the Governor’s Bipartisan Elections Task Force to study and find recommendations to further bolster the state’s election laws and practices.

The sitting governor will chair the task force, which will include of the secretary of state, one county recorder nominated by the president of the state senate, a county recorder nominated by the Arizona house speaker, an election official from a city or town nominated by the League of Cities and Towns, among others.

“While I would’ve appreciated this leadership from the last governor, I now look forward to the task force’s recommendations and will continue working toward meaningful election reform that will improve the democratic process for voters and election administrators in Arizona,” Hobbs said.

The task force is asked to produce a report of its findings and ideas to Hobbs by Nov. 1 with law improvement recommendations.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs 2 executive orders on homelessness, elections