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Hobbs criticizes Arizona House members for days off on Israel trip

Gov. Katie Hobbs criticized several lawmakers for taking days off this week to travel to Israel. 

The all expenses paid trip, funded by a nonprofit called itrek, was organized by Democratic Rep. Alma Hernandez (D-Tucson), one of 17 House lawmakers headed overseas in the middle of a legislative session. 

No one from the state Senate is traveling with the delegation. 

On Monday, Hobbs criticized the timing of the trip, noting it’s occurring before a state budget has been passed.

“We have important issues in front of us, including the need to pass a balanced budget. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen in all my time in state government, including my eight years in the Legislature, and I think that lawmakers should be doing the jobs that Arizonans elected them to,” Hobbs said.

But in terms of actually crafting the budget, Hobbs says conversations are happening at the “staff level,” but it’s premature to say she’s begun negotiations with House and Senate GOP leaders. 

Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) has been subdued with his remarks on the trip, but the Senate voted against giving the House permission to adjourn.

Legally, that doesn’t prevent the House members from going.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.