Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes Arizona Starter Homes Act, which drew pushback from cities

Mar 18, 2024, 12:31 PM | Updated: 2:00 pm

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is seen using a veto stamp on an immigration bill on March 4, 2024. She ve...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is seen using a veto stamp on an immigration bill on March 4, 2024. She vetoed another bill, this one on housing reform, on March 18, 2024. (Facebook Photo/Governor Katie Hobbs)

(Facebook Photo/Governor Katie Hobbs)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday vetoed a housing reform bill that would have prevented local governments from regulating certain home design aspects and lot sizes.

House Bill 2570, aka the Arizona Starter Homes Act, was presented as an attempt to increase affordable housing options.

“Unfortunately, this expansive bill is a step too far and I know we can strike a better balance,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said in her veto letter. “This is unprecedented legislation that would put Arizonans at the center of a housing reform experiment with unclear outcomes.

“It lacks the nuance necessary for statewide reform, and I do not believe it is in the best interest of the people in this state.”

Senate President Warren Petersen, a Republican, called the veto one of Hobbs’ “biggest failures.”

“The governor has a track record of pushing red herrings to justify her vetoes against commonsense legislation, and her statement today is no different,” he said in a press release. “No, this bill does not harm military operations, nor create safety issues for cities. Instead of listening to the citizens, she’s listening to the people who created the problem.”

Democratic lawmaker who supported bill ‘deeply saddened’ by veto

The legislation was introduced by Republican Rep. Leo Biasiucci and garnered some support from Democratic lawmakers.

Rep. Analise Ortiz, a Democrat who voted for the bill, said she was “deeply saddened” by the veto.

“HB2570 was a historic bipartisan solution to our state’s housing crisis and it would have created a pathway to the American dream of homeownership that too many Arizonans find themselves locked out of,” she said in a statement.

“I am equally frustrated that while other states are proactively addressing housing in an urgent and deliberate manner, Arizona continues to kick the can down the road. Status quo is clearly not working.”

What kind of opposition did Arizona housing reform bill draw?

The bill drew opposition from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and local officials from across the state.

Hobbs received letters from the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Arizona and the U.S. Department of Defense expressing concerns about how the proposed legislation would impact public safety.

“In addition, hundreds of Arizonans and community leaders from across the state have contacted my office about this legislation, with over 90% requesting a veto,” Hobbs said in the veto letter.

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Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes Arizona Starter Homes Act, which drew pushback from cities