Sunday Spotlight: Working with a divided government

Sunday Spotlight: Working with a divided government
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 6:55 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - For the first time in years, one party is in control of the state legislature while another holds the Governor’s Office. As the 2023 session comes to an end and lawmakers look to 2024, they say they’re learning lessons along the way.

“We need to work together. It just has to happen,” says Republican House Speaker Ben Toma. He calls the number of vetoes by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs “dissappointing.”

“I think the Governor will settle in a bit,” he says. “Before the next session we’ll have some time to figure some of the process out and figure out ways we can work together in a more meaningful way earlier in the process.”

Tucson Democratic Representative Alma Hernandez chairs the bipartisan caucus. She says while the session has been ‘’difficult’,’ she’s optimistic working with new partnerships can help move important legislation forward.

“I have learned that sometimes you will find your alliances and your people that will champion and work with you all the way even if they’re people you usually don’t work with,” she says. “I have figured that out this session, even more now, that finding those alliances and building those coalitions with people that necessarily I wouldn’t work with can go a long way.”

Governor Katie Hobbs is also responding to working with a divided government. Christian Slater, the Communications Director for the Governor’s Office says “Governor Katie Hobbs, along with every single legislator, whether they’re Democrat, Republican, or Independent, received the same mandate from their constituents. The people they serve want them to address the state’s most pressing issues, which is why she won’t sign into law any legislation that doesn’t do just that. With the signing of the budget earlier this month, Governor Hobbs believes compromise can be reached across the aisle.”

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