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Ducey requests presidential disaster declaration to get funding for Arizona

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration from the White House to help the state get more support for its coronavirus response, his office announced.

If President Donald Trump approves Ducey’s request, the state would receive additional federal resources.

These assets would help provide access to mental health care, support for tribal health care workers, help low-income residents get legal help, food assistance and other services and give the state grants to reduce risks in future emergencies.

“This declaration will help families, individuals, businesses and tribal communities in our state weather this storm and bounce back afterward stronger than ever,” Ducey said in a press release.

“I’m grateful for the partnership and collaboration we’ve had with administrative officials and hope to see this request approved in full to aid Arizona’s COVID-19 response.”

These programs would receive assistance if the declaration is approved:

  • Crisis counseling program
  • Disaster case management
  • Disaster unemployment assistance
  • Disaster legal services
  • Disaster supplemental nutrition assistance program
  • Hazard mitigation grant program
  • Any other appropriate Stafford Act disaster assistance programs

Most of Arizona’s congressional delegation signed a bipartisan letter to Trump on Thursday supporting Ducey’s request. Republican Rep. Andy Biggs was the only member who didn’t sign it.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,413 cases and 29 deaths from the coronavirus as of Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, Ducey’s office also announced that veterinarians will be able to examine pets and animals using phone and video calls.

Veterinarians are not allowed to charge more for a telemedicine visit than in-person.

Ducey also requested help for Arizona dairy farmers from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Last week, the Mexican Ministry of Health announced it would stop administrative operations, which Ducey’s office said is “effectively halting” the exportation of dairy products from Arizona to Mexico.

Arizona dairy exports to Mexico create over $100 million in sales annually, according CEO of United Dairymen of Arizon Keith Murfield.

“The inability to move products across the border is catastrophic for our farmers,” Murfield said in a statement.

In Ducey’s letter to Pompeo, he asked for help continuing cross-border trade.

“We are hopeful that a temporary alternative to import permits for dairy products could be established in Mexico for businesses that have existing business relationships,” Ducey wrote.

“I respectfully request your assistance in working with the Mexican government to ensure that this flow of dairy products from Arizona producers to Mexican consumers can continue.”


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