(The Center Square) — The Arizona State Legislature failed to override a veto from Gov. Katie Hobbs on a bill that would have legalized more cottage food sales, including for food like tamales.
The bill passed both chambers with a supermajority, but the Senate and House Democratic caucuses largely decided not to go along with the override, saying they would prefer to consider the issue in another bill and not defy Hobbs.
Lawmakers could muster only 35 votes in favor of the override, short of the 40 needed to do so.
A few Democrats, like Rep. Alma Hernandez, D-Tempe, have been vocal proponents of the bill and went against their party’s wishes.
“They are too afraid of voting against the governor,” Hernandez said of her Democratic colleagues who voted against the override.
On the Republican side, Rep. Teresa Martinez, R-Casa Grande, shared the story of a single mother who sold tamales outside of a laundromat to make ends meet.
“You need to stand to stand up for what is right and what is right for our community,” she said.
“The emperor is wearing no clothes. She made a mistake,” Martinez said of Hobbs.
While many proponents said that this could have a negative impact on the Hispanic and Native American communities, especially those who are struggling financially, one lawmaker accused them of pandering.
“Some people are pandering to the Latino community like they actually care about us,” Rep. Cesar Aguilar, D-Phoenix, who voted no, to which Republican Rep. Alex Kolodin, R-Scottsdale, objected over the comment as impugning the motives of lawmakers.
Lawmakers backing the override sported stickers saying “Free the Tamales,” which were from the groups Americans for Prosperity and the LIBRE initiative. In addition, the House gallery was full of people wanting an override.
Hobbs has set the record for the most vetoes in one year in Arizona, with 63 vetoes this session in what she has framed as holding back the Republican agenda.
Five Democrats voted for the override. Minority Whip Melody Hernandez, D-Tempe, was originally a no vote but changed her vote to yes at the last moment.
“Don’t ever come tell me that you support Latinos,” Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Avondale, said of Democrats voting against the override.