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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Unlawful Move by Governor Will Not Change Senate's Confirmation Process on State Agency Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, September 25, 2023



Unlawful Move by Governor Will Not Change Senate's Confirmation Process on State Agency Director Nominees


PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Despite receiving a letter threatening to circumvent the process that ensures only qualified individuals seeking to serve the best interests of the state are confirmed to do so, President Warren Petersen is assuring the citizens of Arizona that the Senate will continue to follow the law and serve as the constitutional check and balance on the Governor's nominees to lead state agencies.


President Petersen is directing the Senate Committee on Director Nominations to stand ready to resume hearings, as well as to continue accurately vetting and recommending rejection or confirmation of the individuals tasked with leading our state agencies.


Regardless of who the Governor appoints or what title she gives these agency leaders, these individuals can only lawfully serve for one year without being confirmed by the Senate.


Arizona law is clear that the Governor must nominate, and the senate must confirm agency directors. A.R.S. 38-211 states "when it is provided by law that a state officer shall be appointed pursuant to this section, the governor shall nominate and with the consent of the senate appoint such officer as prescribed in this section." Additionally, "the governor shall nominate a person who meets the requirements of law for such office and the nominee shall assume and discharge the duties of the office until rejection of the nomination or inaction of the senate."


Arizona law also requires Senate-confirmed directors to run state agencies and for agency powers to be exercised under the direction of a director. See A.R.S. 41-3952 for example.


"This move by the Executive Branch showcases another prime example of an elected official who believes they're above the law and will go to extreme measures to bypass the requirements of the law when they don't get their way," said President Petersen. "The law is very specific on who is to run our state agencies. Without directors fulfilling these obligations, the legality of every decision made by these state agencies is dubious, and litigation against the state would surely prevail."


"Our members of the Committee on Director Nominations will continue to be professional and stand ready to resume the confirmation hearings created to critically vet her appointments in order to protect the people of Arizona from government overreach and tyranny from unelected bureaucrats," said President Petersen. "The process is working. Because of the committee’s thorough vetting, we have been able to recommend several directors for appointment and have also rejected those who proved they were not competent to serve. We are prepared to receive a new list of nominations. If they are competent and not hyper-partisan, they will have no problem getting confirmed."

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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

kquintero@azleg.gov

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