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Arizona GOP lawmakers pledge to send vetoed border bill back to the governor

Arizona Republican lawmakers are promising to bring back a border security bill that got vetoed last week. 

On party lines, Republicans passed a bill to make crossing the border outside of a port of entry a state crime. Hobbs vetoed the bill, warning it was unconstitutional because those border crossings are already a federal crime and can’t be enforced by local law enforcement. 

Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) said they’ll send an identical version of the bill to her again.

“Shame on Gov. Hobbs for vetoing these types of bills. They’re coming back. They’re on their way up. Governor this is your chance to put your money where your mouth is,” Petersen said.

He also said that if the governor rejects the bill again, Republicans might refer the measure to voters as a ballot measure to bypass her veto stamp.

“If we need to go around her with a constitutional amendment or a statutory amendment, we will,” Petersen said.

Sen. Janae Shamp (R-Surprise) sponsored the original bill, which is based on a Texas law that’s been temporarily blocked pending a challenge in court.

She said the legislation does exactly what border communities are asking for.

“They need to be able to enforce the law that the federal government is not enforcing and we are trying to give them that law so they can. I reached out numerous times, phone, email, nothing crickets. The only thing I got was a very, very large loud veto stamp,” Shamp said.

Republicans at Monday’s press conference also touted other border security related bills that have yet to make it to the governor’s desk, such as a measure to increase penalties for human smuggling and a proclamation of support for Texas, which has recently come into conflict on the border with the Biden administration.

The bill Hobbs vetoed was the first bill of the legislative session to go to her desk so far.

More stories from KJZZ

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