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State Representative Julie Willoughby speaking on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, July 31, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Hobbs Strikes Down Parental Rights Bill

Veto of HB2183 the latest in Hobbs’ record shattering veto streak

By Steve Kirwan, April 9, 2024 1:57 pm

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ veto of House Bill  HB2183 adds another notch to her record-shattering veto belt. State Representative Julie Willoughby (R-13) sponsored the bill that would have mandated that medical facilities and providers, including schools, allow parental access to all medical records until the child reaches the age of majority. Under current laws, such access can be denied once the child turns twelve, a situation concerning lawmakers and parents alike.

Hobbs vetoed the bill, stating that the bill “could put the health and safety of vulnerable Arizonans at risk.” The bill was designed to address “privacy” rules related to gender transitioning, mental health referrals, and other medically related concerns of parents, especially within the school setting. Hobbs and the Democrats want to preserve their ability to secretly offer so-called “gender-affirming care” to minors, while Republicans, led in this case by Willoughby, seek to return control of these types of decisions to parents.

Rep. Willoughby expressed her frustration at Hobbs’ veto. She cited her  April 3, 2024, press release in a post on X, stating, “I am deeply dismayed by Governor Hobbs’ decision to veto HB 2183. This was important legislation designed to assist Arizona families, particularly those with children suffering from chronic diseases, access vital medical records, which are often required for arranging specialty follow-up appointments, surgeries, or consultations with out-of-state specialists. The governor’s veto means that families will continue to face unnecessary hurdles in obtaining the critical information they need, precisely when they need it most, especially during urgent health crises. This decision not only undermines the welfare of vulnerable families but also impedes their access to necessary healthcare information.”

Despite her dismay over the veto, Willoughby praised fellow Republicans who supported her efforts, adding, “House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci and Representative Selina Bliss have been remarkable in supporting this bill, and I’m grateful for their teamwork on the bill.”

It’s unclear whether House Republicans will attempt to rework the bill despite the caucus’ ongoing efforts to protect parental rights. Republicans have expressed mounting concerns over what some deem as inappropriate actions by schools and medical professionals relating to child mental health issues.

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