Home>Governor>Grantham Resurrects Tamale Bill

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

Grantham Resurrects Tamale Bill

Hobbs signs a revised version of the bill she originally vetoed

By Steve Kirwan, April 2, 2024 1:58 pm

Arizona House Speaker Pro-Tem Travis Grantham (R-14) successfully resusstated the so-called “Tamale bill” vetoed by Governor Katoe Hobbs during last year’s legislative session. Re-introduce this year as House Bill 2042, Grantham piggybacked on the bill’s broad bipartisan support, coupling that support to new language addressing issues that prompted Hobbs’ surprise veto.

The original bill, introduced into the legislative bill hopperlast year, created quite a bit of drama. After passing the legislature with supermajorities in both chambers (a 45-11 vote in the House; 26-4 vote in the Senate), Governor Hobbs vetoed the bill citing public health concerns. Grantham, spurred on by popular sentiment, nearly achieved a rare overturn of the veto. The overturn ultimately failed when some originally supportive Democrats defected amid the Governor’s accusations that the Republican leadership was creating “political theater.”

However, given the widespread public support, Grantham retooled the bill to appease some of Hobbs’ original qualms. Chief among them was her concern for potential food-borne illnesses. In her veto letter to House Speaker Ben Toma (R-27) dated April 18, 2023, Hobbs wrote, “This bill would significantly increase the risk of food-borne illness by expanding the ability of cottage food vendors to sell high-risk foods.”

One amendment to the bill requires pet owners who prepare foods at home to disclose potential pet allergens. Another stipulates that the food labels include a web address for reporting alleged foodborne illness. It would also require that sellers provide information on how to verify the home cook’s state registration status and report any issues thereof. The updates, along with public testimony and debate, were presented at a meeting the House Regulatory Affairs Committe shortly after January 2024’s session start. The committee heard from a number of passionate supporters of the bill, and ultimately, it passed the committee on a 6-0 vote. Ultimately, the bill was passed by the full legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed by Governor Hobbs on Friday, March 29, 2024.

The new bill legalizes the public sale of home-prepared foods, a literal cottage industry necessary for many Arizonans struggling under the Biden administrations inflationary economy. Hobbs’ original veto was seen as overwhelmingly impacting the Hispanic community.

In an interview last Friday shortly after the bill’s passage with The Center Square, Grantahm stated, “I’m very happy that she signed the bill this year. The bill isn’t a whole lot different than last year. We did make some minor tweaks. I think last year the governor made a mistake. I think she knows it, and I think this year she chose to sign the bill to try to undo that.”


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