PHOENIX — Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs is busy preparing to become the state’s 24th governor.
Hobbs has already outlined some initial priorities for when she takes over the office from Gov. Doug Ducey in January.
KTAR News spoke exclusively Wednesday with Hobbs, who dished on abortion, border issues and her plans to call special sessions:
Q: What will you do day one — or in the first month — on this abortion issue?
A: Well, I’m looking forward to working with Attorney General-elect [Kris] Mayes on restoring and protecting Arizonans’ access to safe legal abortion. And I’ve said on the campaign trail that I will call a special session on day one to repeal Arizona’s Civil War-era ban that fully criminalizes abortion.
I think that’s important to help restore certainty to the environment that we have right now in terms of what our access to safe legal abortion will look like in Arizona.
Q: How will a special session like that work?
A: Well, I don’t want to negotiate the terms publicly, I certainly think that any legislator in the state, whether they’re Republican or Democrat, wants to represent their constituents and would be amenable to this change.
The majority of Arizonans support access to safe, legal abortion. And so are our pre-existing law is in direct conflict with that.
Q: Do you think you’ll be able to get some Republicans to join Democrats and pass an abortion law in Arizona that is more in line with your thinking? Or do you think there’s going be a major compromise with the Republicans?
A: My focus right now is just going to be to repeal this law. That should be plain and simple. Again, in terms of representing the majority of Arizonans and being in line with what was a major issue in this election that we just got through, I would be hopeful that some Republicans would be willing to make that change.
Q: Are there other issues you feel you can work with the GOP legislative leaders to accomplish things for Arizona?
A: I hope so. You know, I think Arizona sent a very loud and clear message this election that they want leaders who are going to focus on the real issues we’re facing and focus on bringing Arizona together in a bipartisan way to tackle those issues.
When I was talking to Arizonans on the campaign trail about abortion access, about our state’s water crisis, about funding, public education affordability … these are not Democratic or Republican issues. They are Arizona issues and they need Arizona solutions and I’m hopeful that we can come together on those.
Q: I know you’ve recently said you want to have President Biden down to the border when you’re governor. Is that one of the first things you’re going to do is invite the president to come down to the border and tour it with you?
A: Yes, absolutely.
Q: And then what are the things you’d like to see the Biden administration do differently at the border now?
A: It is a federal issue. I think one of the big issues that we have right now is staffing up at the ports of entry to make commerce more efficient but also address the illegal substances that we know are being trafficked across the border.
And those are primarily coming in through ports of entry. We need more resources there to make sure we’re stopping that and just in general, more border security.