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SB 1062 Proponents Met With Governor’s Staff Prior to Legislative Session

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Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer
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Top aides to Gov. Jan Brewer sought and got proponents of a “religious liberty” bill to make changes to SB 1062 — and then the Governor vetoed it more than a month later. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

In vetoing the measure, Brewer said she found no need at all for a law to allow individuals to deny services to anyone based on a claim of sincerely held religious beliefs. But, records obtained by Arizona Public Radio show that Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy met with Brewer staffers about the measure even before the legislative session began. And, they show that the governor’s legal counsel and a top adviser asked for — and got — changes. But, gubernatorial press aide Andrew Wilder said nothing should be read into any of that, saying it’s not unusual for staff to meet with proponents and opponents of legislation.

“Such meetings, however, should not be construed in any way, and never are, that there’s any agreed-upon support for a bill or opposition to a bill. That decision is ultimately made by the governor when it arrives at her desk, and not before then,” Wilder said.

Herrod agreed there were no promises. But, she told Arizona Public Radio the purpose of the meetings were to vet the bill with the governor’s office. And, Herrod said her organization addressed every concern raised — only to have the measure vetoed because of highly vocal opposition from the LGBT community, which she said had nothing to do with what was actually in the bill.

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