Arizona politicians' fundraising to be public under bill inspired by Republic reporting

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Arizonans will be able to see the political fundraising and spending of the state's most powerful elected officials much sooner and more often under a measure signed into law Monday.

The law requires statewide officeholders, like the governor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and others, to report their political finances to the public four times a year. They must do so during each of the three years between their elections.

Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 1571 into law, calling it an effort to bring more transparency when it comes to campaign finance. She had previously said she would sign the bill, which received broad bipartisan support and was inspired by reporting by The Arizona Republic.

The bill had an emergency clause, which means it goes into effect immediately. The first reports from officeholders under the new law are expected to be made public soon, and because of a separate existing law on the books, the reports would cover all political fundraising and spending since the end of 2022.

Fundraising numbers: Why Arizonans can't see Gov. Katie Hobbs' fundraising numbers, but can see others

Campaign finance laws require regular public disclosure, giving the public a view of the possible influences on and conflicts of candidates for office and elected officials.

Previously, Arizona officials elected in 2022 were not required to detail any of their political finances until 2026, when many would seek a second term in office. But several filed an annual report earlier this year covering political fundraising and spending in 2023 anyway, including Attorney General Kris Mayes, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, and Treasurer Kimberly Yee.

Hobbs did not file the annual report. She said it was not allowed after she updated her information in the state's campaign finance software system to reflect her 2026 campaign. Others who hadn't updated the election year were still prompted by the system to file the annual report, and did so.

Though Hobbs said she supported more frequent reporting, her campaign aides declined to make the information available.

"I'm proud to sign this bipartisan bill to bring transparency to our campaign finance system and will continue to work to bring transparency and accountability to state government," Hobbs said in a statement after signing the bill Monday.

The new law is the harmonized version of two bills introduced earlier this year by Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, and Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix. The earliest versions of the bills had different reporting deadlines, but were brought into alignment to require four reports a year.

"'Pay for play' has no business in our government, and this bill will deter such behavior moving forward," Gress said.

The bills received wide bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, passing the Senate on Feb. 29 with a 28-0 vote, and the House on March 28 with a 54-0 vote.

"The people have a right to know who is donating money to the Governor or what she's spending money on, just like they can with every legislator in office," Shope said in a text message. "This law will bring us all into alignment and that's a good thing for the voting public."

The law requires four-year officeholders to now report more often than state lawmakers during the year between elections. State lawmakers file just one report covering that off year, but file at least four times a year in an election year.

Reach reporter Stacey Barchenger at or 480-416-5669.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Gov. Katie Hobbs' fundraising to be revealed under bill signed Monday