2023 legislative session overview

2023 Legislative Shortcomings

Hobbs’ First Year as Governor

Contrary to popular belief, Hobbs did in fact add an accomplishment to her year-one resume: a record number of vetoes in a legislative session. 

Among the bills proudly shut down by Gov. Hobbs : SB 1600, SB 1001, and SB 1026. 

By vetoing these bills, this is the real message Hobbs is sending: Guarding ‘reproductive rights’ means withholding critical care from babies born alive. Providing parents a guarantee to the rightful autonomy over their own children is ‘harmful,’ but allowing taxpayer dollars to fund drag queen shows targeting minors is protecting ‘freedom of expression.’ 



And Counting

Hobbs via SB 1600 veto letter: As a candidate I promised to veto any bill that interferes with the reproductive rights of Arizonans. 

Hobbs via SB 1001 veto letter: As politicians across the country continue to pass harmful legislation directed at transgender youth, I have a clear message to the people of Arizona: I will veto every bill that aims to attack and harm children.

Hobbs via SB 1026, SB 1028, SB 1030, SB 1698 veto letter: SB 1026, SB 1028, SB 1030, and SB 1698 are attempts to criminalize free expression and ostracize the LGBTQIA+ community both implicitly and explicitly.

I would like to point out that we could have just passed a law that schools just have to put up shower curtains, and that would have solved the problem…Regarding the shower issue, I am not kidding: schools should have shower curtains. With that I vote no.

Christine Marsh

Senate D28, Democrat

Christine Marsh’s Vote on SB 1040, Public Schools; Restrooms; Reasonable Accommodations

It seems that Senator Marsh is indeed in favor of transparency in schools…as long as it’s in the locker room and not the classroom. Her claim that a flimsy shower curtain is sufficient protection for an exposed young girl who is forced to share a shower with a biological male is ridiculous.

Eva Burch’s Vote on SB 1600, Infants; Born Alive

Dangerous. This is the word chosen by Senator Burch to describe a bill that would have given babies born alive an assured chance at survival. The real danger is in a legislator that shoots down a provision requiring doctors to offer life-saving care to a child born in critical condition.

I think this language is dangerous, I think it’s the wrong thing. I vote no.

Eva Burch

Senate D9, Democrat

Schwiebert regarding ESA budget: I am deeply disappointed that we are not doing what we need to do to stop this train wreck of ESAs that threaten to bankrupt the state.

Schwiebert regarding SB 1564: Please make children stay in their homeschool to protect public school sports.

Judy Schwiebert

House D2, Democrat

Judy Schwiebert’s Vote on ESAs and SB 1564, Private School Students; Interscholastic Activities

Representative Schwiebert has proven a vocal advocate for schools, but only government-funded public schools. She adamantly decried Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) with the far-fetched claim that they will ‘bankrupt’ the state, while ignoring the fact that ESAs cost a mere 6% of what the state spends on public education.

With her ‘no’ vote on SB 1564, Schwiebert also made it known that she would rather discriminate against homeschool students than have them play sports on a public school team. Seems she forgot that the parents of those ‘homeschool kids’ pay taxes that fund those very schools.


I had an especially difficult time regarding this bill…as I recall the details of her (my niece’s) birth, I reflect on how my sister-in-law pleaded with the doctor to do whatever he could to save her baby. The doctor explained the very slight chance for the baby living. I held her in the palm of my hand. She survived, and is now 18 years old, and a student at Phoenix Union Highschool… I value life as much as my constituency of West Phoenix…I vote yes.

Lydia Hernandez

House D24, Democrat

Lydia Hernandez’s Vote on SB 1600, Infants; Born Alive

Representative Lydia Hernandez took a stand for life by sharing a personal experience to highlight an evident truth: that all life is precious and deserves protection and care. Thank you, Rep. L. Hernandez!

Thank you, House Speaker Ben Toma and President Warren Petersen, for not backing down nor giving up in spite of the challenges that overwhelmed the Capitol this session. Thank you for your collective efforts in meeting with Governor Hobbs to ensure that the State of Arizona has a budget.

Among the noteworthy actions…

  • Passed a bipartisan budget all the way through the House and Senate.
  • Boldly confronted Governor Hobbs by challenging the constitutionality of her executive order that included a ban on conversion therapy.
  • Intervened in lawsuits to oppose extremist actions by Governor Hobbs and Attorney General Mayes. 
  • Protected the universal ESA program.
  • Advocated for school choice in the state by recognizing the voices of now more than 60,000 ESA families. 
  • Gave a voice to those who have none by voting in support of the life bills that passed through the House and Senate this session.

Speaker of the House Ben Toma

As Speaker of the House, Toma stood firm for Arizona families in the face of a stormy legislative session. 

Speaker Toma on Hobbs’ Executive Order: Dear Governor Hobbs, your recent Executive Order…purporting to “protect young people from conversion therapy,” is very likely unconstitutional. I urge you to rescind it.

Toma in response to ESA budget comments: …if any of this were true, why would over 50,000 parents choose this option for their children? I trust their decision, and proudly vote aye.

Ben Toma

Speaker of the House D27, Republican

President Petersen on Hobbs’ Executive Order: Instead of helping struggling AZ families plagued by inflation, the governor just issued an order for taxpayers to cover the cost of elective, sex reassignment surgeries. This illegal, out of touch, unprecedented over reach did not receive proper JLBC review as required by law.

Warren Petersen

Senate President D14, Republican

Senate President Warren Petersen

As Senate President, Petersen supported bills to protect Arizonans’ freedoms.

2023 Voting Scorecard

Find out how your legislators voted!

ESAs: A Milestone in Educational Freedom

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) form the cornerstone of our children’s future, and Arizona understands the importance of making ESAs adaptable to every child’s unique needs.

In 2022, Arizona led the nation in education policy by making ESAs universal. 

The Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is revolutionary, empowering parents to tailor education to fit their child’s and their family’s needs. It offers every Arizona student, from kindergarten to 12th grade, funding for alternatives to public education. The program extends to all children, regardless of their current school or their family’s income level.

Now, in 2023, the Arizona Legislature’s commitment to maintaining funding for ESAs secures flexible, student-centered education. 

ESAs provide families with approximately $7,000 per year, per child. The funds can be utilized for anything from private school tuition, tutoring, homeschooling, online learning, and more.

These expenses can include textbooks and uniforms for a private school, tutoring or teaching services, and the purchase of curriculum materials and educational technology devices. Moreover, funds can support participation in extracurricular activities and enriching educational experiences such as museum visits or science and art center tickets. For those with special needs, ESA funds can also cover educational therapies and specialized educational aides. 

Families can also take advantage of home economics training, cooking classes, sewing, personal finance, and woodworking classes from credentialed providers. 

The program not only helps families, but saves the state money; educating a student with an ESA costs the state half of what it does to educate them in public school. The ESA program is an innovation in educational choice that serves as a model for many other states nationwide