What is at Risk if we Lost the GOP Majority in Arizona?

by | Apr 12, 2024 | News & Alerts | 0 comments

Currently, the balance of power in the Arizona House of Representatives and the state Senate is a +1 republican majority in each chamber. In the 2022 election, democratic Governor Katie Hobbs was elected and spent her freshman term earning the nickname “The Veto Queen”. Governor Hobbs broke veto records, vetoing 143 bills. Some of the vetoes have even angered her fellow democrats.

As we gear up for the 2024 election season, the possibility of a democratic majority overtaking the Arizona state legislature has profound implications for Arizona residents, particularly those who adhere to conservative policy perspectives. This treatise aims to provide an extensive republican-leaning perspective on the consequential shifts that could occur in various policy domains, such as taxation, education, gun rights, and social issues, among others.

Taxation and Fiscal Policy

One of the linchpins of republican economic philosophy is low taxation as a means to stimulate economic growth. We have seen this during the past few legislative sessions with the reduction of the state tax rate. As outlined by Helen F. Ladd, lower taxes lead to increased disposable income for businesses and individuals, thereby spurring investment and economic activity (note 1). A democratic legislature may attempt to overturn this system in favor of a progressive tax structure. While proponents of progressive taxation argue for its fairness, critics assert that it may deter investment and stifle economic growth. Wealthier citizens, often the engines of investment and job creation, could find the higher taxes a disincentive for further investment in the state, thus reducing the vitality of Arizona’s economy.


The Arizona republican majority has traditionally advocated for policies such as school choice, charter schools, and empowerment scholarship accounts, which align with a market-based approach to education. These policies, which were in part influenced by Milton Friedman’s scholarship (note 2), rest on the principle that competition improves educational outcomes and allows parents more control over their children’s education. The democrats will attempt to shift this focus to increased public school funding and possible curtailment of charter schools and universal ESA. This would limit educational innovation and choice for parents, thereby inhibiting the competitive forces that lead to educational improvements.

Gun Control

Republicans in Arizona have traditionally emphasized a robust interpretation of the Second Amendment based upon Article 2, Section 26 of the Arizona Constitution (note 3). A democrat-controlled legislature would introduce more stringent gun control laws, which would likely face strong opposition from conservatives who see these measures as an erosion of constitutionally protected freedoms. The democrats have already stated this is one of their goals if the legislature is flipped blue. Furthermore, the effectiveness of such regulations could be questionable and might lead to increased polarization within the state.

Social Issues

On topics like abortion, religious freedoms, and LGBTQ+ rights, the republican majority often reflects conservative societal views. A change in majority could result in policies that conservative constituents find objectionable. For instance, in the arena of religious freedoms, democratic policies may overlook the importance of protecting religious minorities from coercion, focusing instead on nondiscrimination measures that could infringe upon religious liberties (note 4).

Regulatory Environment

The republican view on regulatory issues, largely inspired by scholars like Warren J. Samuels, is typically one of minimal interference to promote economic growth (note 5). The democrats, on the other hand, may favor increased regulations, especially in the sectors of environmental policy and healthcare. Such a shift could stifle business innovation and growth, as regulatory hurdles often act as barriers to entry and can bog down existing enterprises.

Criminal Justice

The shift from a republican to a democratic majority could signal a move from a law-and-order approach to a focus on rehabilitation. However, the effectiveness of such approaches, as outlined by Todd R. Clear, remains debated (note 6). Conservatives may argue that this could potentially compromise public safety and increase costs without a commensurate benefit in reducing recidivism.


In sum, a shift in the political landscape of Arizona’s state legislature from a republican to a democratic majority could lead to substantial policy changes that a majority of conservative constituents may find at odds with their beliefs. Whether it be in the realms of economic policy, social issues, or constitutional rights, these changes necessitate vigilant scrutiny and robust debate. Those committed to conservative principles would do well to be especially active in their civic engagement to ensure their voices are heard.

Michael Infanzon
AzCDL Chief Lobbyist


1. Ladd, Helen F. “State Tax Cuts and Economic Growth: A New Look at the Evidence.” Public Finance Review 36, no. 4 (2008): 387–408.

2. Friedman, Milton. “The Role of Government in Education.” Economics and Liberty 35 (2002): 89–105. https://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/330T/350kPEEFriedmanRoleOfGovttable.pdf

3. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men. https://www.azleg.gov/const/2/26.htm

4. Cassidy, K. (1989) “The Abortion Controversy as a Problem in Contemporary American History: Some Suggestions for Research,” Journal of Policy History, Cambridge University Press, 1(4), pp. 440–460. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-policy-history/article/abs/abortion-controversy-as-a-problem-in-contemporary-american-history-some-suggestions-for-research/A551B4F277403F4CC27987D95355353B#

5. Samuels, Warren J. “Erasing the Invisible Hand: Essays on an Elusive and Misused Concept in Economics” (2011)

6. Clear, Todd R. “The Effects of High Imprisonment Rates on Communities.” Crime and Justice 37, no. 1 (2008): 97–132. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/522360