Homeowners’ Rights Protections Vetoed

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(PatriotNewsDaily.com) – Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, recently vetoed a bill that aimed to enhance homeowners’ rights to evict squatters. The legislation, known as SB 1129, had gained bipartisan support and came amidst a growing number of squatting incidents that have raised concerns among homeowners nationwide.

The proposed bill would have allowed homeowners to seek immediate law enforcement intervention to remove squatters who unlawfully occupied their properties and claimed residence rights. Under the bill, police could act based on a homeowner’s affidavit to quickly evict squatters.

However, Governor Hobbs rejected the bill, stating in a brief letter to the State Senate President that the measure overlooked existing legal frameworks and failed to protect the due process rights of legitimate tenants, potentially harming domestic violence victims among others. Hobbs did not provide further details on her decision.

The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Wendy Rogers, criticized Hobbs’ veto as part of a series of rejections by the governor. Rogers argued that the bill was designed to address criminal activities involving unlawful home occupations and was not related to landlord-tenant disputes. She emphasized that the legislation included exceptions for family members and cohabitants.

Rogers highlighted the challenges homeowners face in proving unlawful occupancy, often leading to extensive and costly legal proceedings. She mentioned that other states, such as Florida and Georgia, have enacted similar laws to strengthen homeowners’ rights against squatters.

State Senator Justine Wadsack also shared a personal encounter with a squatter during her time as a realtor, describing the situation as a significant threat to her safety and that of her clients. Wadsack expressed disappointment over the veto, calling the bill “commonsense bipartisan legislation.”

Governor Hobbs vetoed ten other bills that same day, increasing her total vetoes to 52 for the session. This follows a record-setting year where she vetoed 143 bills. Among the other bills vetoed were measures concerning public school policies and enhanced penalties for organized retail theft.

Despite these vetoes, Hobbs did approve several new laws, including one extending the period for displaying political signs before an election and another allowing off-duty police officers to use emergency lights while directing traffic privately.

In her first term after a contentious election victory over Kari Lake, who has yet to concede, Governor Hobbs continues to face criticism and scrutiny over her legislative decisions.

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