Katie Hobbs certainly seems to like power. That’s probably why she was so giddy with laughter and excitement during her swearing-in ceremony last month. Now, she’s gotten to work. And despite her claims that Republicans and Democrats will have an open door to her office to get to work on bipartisan compromise, her preferred method appears to be executive action.
In just over a month since beginning her reign as governor, Hobbs has already signed seven executive orders. And there’s no sign that she’ll stop there. Her first executive order, prohibiting gender identity discrimination in state employment and contracts, was particularly eye-opening. Consider it a small taste of the woke agenda Hobbs is looking to implement over the next four years. And while it’s good to see that groups like the Arizona Freedom Caucus are planning to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such an order, it will take more than that to stop Hobbs from overstepping her authority.
If there’s anything that the past few years should have taught us, it’s that Democrats, in particular, have a strong thirst for executive overreach. In just his first two months in office, President Biden signed 37 executive orders, 13 presidential memoranda, 24 proclamations, and seven notices. And in his first two weeks alone, he had already signed more than double the number of executive orders signed by President Trump in his first month. Biden loves to talk about protecting democracy, but his actions prove otherwise.
Then, of course, there’s Michigan’s infamous Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose appetite for power rose to new levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Whitmer signed one of the most restrictive stay-at-home orders in the country. It prevented the people of Michigan from traveling to in-state vacation residences and using a motorboat. And it mandated large stores to close areas dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, and paint. Some stores even went so far as to put caution tape around such areas. And while the Michigan Supreme Court eventually struck down Whitmer’s orders months later, the damage had already been done.
Arizona certainly hasn’t been immune to government overreach in the past. During COVID, various government officials throughout the state used emergency powers to restrict freedom and some even used it as an opportunity to declare climate emergencies! Now, with Hobbs in office and Arizona’s broad allowance of emergency powers for the executive, we can expect more of the same—or maybe even Gretchen Whitmer 2.0. Given her chosen person to head up the Department of Health Services—a radical social justice warrior that wants “health equity”—Hobbs is the single biggest threat to medical freedom in the state of Arizona.
That’s why it is critical to put this issue in front of Arizona voters as soon as possible. And a new bill sponsored by Reps. Joseph Chaplik (R-LD03) and Alex Kolodin (R-LD03) is designed to do just that. HCR2039, which would be subject to voter approval, would terminate a governor’s state of emergency and any emergency powers after 30 days, unless extended by Concurrent Resolution of the legislature. It would also allow the legislature to declare the end of a state emergency before the 30-day period by Concurrent Resolution.
With Hobbs prepared to rule by executive action for the foreseeable future, this bill is an important first step to limiting her powers. The people of Arizona have been through a lot over the past few years. Now, the Republican-led legislature needs to show that it won’t let the governor’s emergency powers destroy their lives again by passing HCR2039.
Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network
Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!
Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.