Arizona Legislature prepared to override Hobbs’ veto on home-cooked foods bill

Apr 21, 2023, 4:25 AM

(Photo by Getty Images)...

(Photo by Getty Images)

(Photo by Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A recent veto from Gov. Katie Hobbs has Democrats and Republicans in the Arizona Legislature preparing to override the decision.

The legislature is working on the action for HB2509, which would have expanded the types of homemade food Arizonans could legally sell. Hobbs vetoed the bill, citing food safety concerns.

“She’s arguing health and safety, but the reality is people get sick in restaurants more than in these situations,” Senate President Warren Petersen told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Petersen argues there’s less risk for contracting a food borne illness from a cottage food vender because there are less people handling the food and their business’s reputation is on the line.

“We realized it’s not necessary to overregulate this issue,” Petersen said.

Petersen called the veto unnecessary, which is why he asked Speaker of the House Ben Toma to send him the veto override, which Toma says is prepared.

The legislature can override Hobbs’ veto with a two-thirds vote.

“For that to happen, both chambers — not just one chamber, but both the chambers — would have to override the veto,” Petersen said.

The process would begin in the house, which would have to do the first veto override then the senate would follow. The bill would then become law regardless of the governor’s veto.

“As long as they (the house) pass it out and deliver the bill over to us (the senate) the same day, we will also pass it out on Tuesday or we’ll vote it,” Petersen said.

The measure originally passed both chambers with bipartisan support and a supermajority of 45-11 in the House and 26-4 in the Senate.

“As far as a whip count, we haven’t done a whip count, but we know what the prior vote was so why would they vote no? What’s changed?” Petersen said.

In Arizona, there hasn’t been a successful veto override since 1981, when Republican legislators overrode Democratic Gov. Bruce Babbitt’s veto of a congressional redistricting bill.

“When a governor vetoes a bill that has nearly unanimous support, what they’re saying is that they know better than the entire Legislature and when we allow them to do that we’re saying you’re not only the governor, but you’re the Legislature, too. So I think it’s an important check,” Petersen said.

Petersen says he has not directly spoken to Hobbs since the veto.

“This is a real injustice to hardworking women, especially minorities, and hopefully the legislature will correct this error that she made,” Petersen said.

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Arizona Legislature prepared to override Hobbs’ veto on home-cooked foods bill