Arizona, Americans for Prosperity Celebrate 'Free the Tamale' Success

Arizona, Americans for Prosperity Celebrate 'Free the Tamale' Success

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 3, 2024

At the end of March, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) signed a bill legalizing the sale of hot, homemade dishes from cottage vendors into law. Before its passage, Americans for Prosperity held a "Free the Tamale" party, hoping to convince the Governor to overturn a previous veto.

"Free the Tamales" became a slogan associated with the effort to pass House Bill 2509, which would legalize the sale of hot homemade dishes in the state so long as cottage vendors take a food handling and safety course.

The bill originally passed with bipartisan support in the Arizona Legislature, but Gov. Hobbs vetoed the version introduced last year out of concerns it would increase the risk of foodborne illness and poisoning.

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Supporters of the bill across Arizona gathered in Phoenix to protest Gov. Hobbs' veto, adopting the slogan "Free the Tamales!" Americans for Prosperity, the libertarian-conservative activist group that had previously held an event in August 2022 in Florida lowering gas prices, hosted a party on the Phoenix Capitol lawn on March 27th, pressuring Gov. Hobbs to sign the new bill, featuring a rally and tamale lunch for participants.

As their presser described, "Despite being a widespread practice, it is illegal in Arizona to sell hot homemade food. H.B. 2509 would legalize the sale of popular, hot homemade dishes like tamales and tortillas. Cottage food vendors would be required to take a course on food handling safety and then would be allowed to sell their culinary delights to hungry Arizonans."

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House Bill 2509 quickly became the subject of override attempts by State Senate President Warren Petersen (R), which passed where the House's override narrowly failed.

Notably, this was the first attempt by the State Legislature to override a Governor's veto since 1981, as the bill legalizing cottage sales of hot food proved immensely popular.

State Rep. Travis Grantham (R), who introduced the bill, told the Arizona Republic in the above link, "Hopefully this makes it easier for those who produce cottage foods for resale in their home. In today's economy, people need all the help they can get to make ends meet."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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