In her first five months in office, just three of Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ two dozen new nominees to lead state agencies and commissions have successfully passed through a Senate confirmation process.
The three who have made it can serve for more than a year, a sort of deadline for confirmation set in state law, and give the Democratic governor and some of Arizona’s over 36,000 state employees a sense of stability for what is to come.
The majority of Hobbs’ picks, however, are in legislative limbo.
Some of the delay is due to the divided nature of government at the Capitol, and an increasingly partisan and prosecutorial vetting process for Hobbs’ nominees.
The Republican-majority Senate created a new committee this year that exclusively considers nominees, and recommends to the full 30-member chamber whether to confirm or reject a nominee. The committee consolidates political power with three GOP lawmakers versus dispersing it among more legislators on committees with specialty topics.
The Committee on Director Nominations has spent hours grilling eight of Hobbs’ nominees so far.
Hobbs has criticized the committee process as a politically motivated barrier in the way of her putting in place ideological allies.