Hobbs vetoes GOP bill aimed at barring homeless people from roadway medians • Arizona Mirror

A bill aimed at limiting the presence of pedestrians on medians and intersections was one of the five bills vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs earlier this week. 

The measure, House Bill 2658, would have prohibited pedestrians from gathering or soliciting from traffic medians, highway entrance or exit ramps, or while in an intersection without a sidewalk or crosswalk meant for pedestrians. 

Under the proposal, police would have only been allowed to issue a warning on a first violation. But after a second violation, the pedestrian would have been subject to a civil traffic violation, and any subsequent violations could have resulted in a class 1 misdemeanor. 



State law already prohibits standing in a roadway for the sole purpose of soliciting, and pedestrians are always required to yield to traffic when crossing roadways at points without a proper crosswalk. 

As it moved through the legislature, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R- Scottsdale, had called HB2658 a safety bill that aims to protect the safety of not only the pedestrians but drivers as well. 

However, the bill raised concern as to how it would affect Arizona’s homeless population that makes up much of the pedestrian presence in metro areas like Phoenix. Among other states, Arizona has the fourth-highest percentage of houseless residents that live without shelter. 

In her veto letter, Hobbs emphasized the importance of “precision” when approaching matters that will greatly impact such a vulnerable community. 

“Recognizing the importance of constitutionally protected rights, it is critical that we approach these matters with precision to avoid infringing on Arizonans’ freedoms,” she wrote.  

Chaplik took to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, to react to the veto the next day.

“Katie Hobbs’ veto of my Pedestrian Safety Bill HB2658 is simply about continuing her reign of lawlessness and will end up costing lives of pedestrians in dangerous areas of roadways,” he posted, alongside a photo of a man soliciting from a median with his dog, who he claims “could easily be hurt or killed in an accident at this busy intersection.”

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