ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s Kelly pushes infrastructure needs during first Senate floor speech

Aug 4, 2021, 12:04 PM
(C-Span Screenshot)...
(C-Span Screenshot)
(C-Span Screenshot)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s Mark Kelly took his first opportunity to speak on the Senate floor to address infrastructure needs as a $1 trillion package continues to move closer to the finish line.

Kelly said infrastructure was the state’s “most important responsibility” in continuing to rebuild an economy still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senate, including Arizona Democrats Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, could approve the bill in the coming week despite an array of obstacles from interest groups on both sides of the political spectrum.

“Arizona will benefit from upgrading and modernizing our infrastructure,” Kelly said. “That’s why for the past few months I’ve been working with a group of Republicans and Democrats to come to an agreement on a historic investment in our infrastructure.

“I advocated for Arizona’s priorities and we worked together to find common ground and work out our differences. And now we’re on the verge of passing it.”

Kelly noted paving roads on Navajo Nation and widening Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson as major projects he’d like to be done with funding from an infrastructure deal.

About $110 billion in new spending for roads and bridges is part of the deal, according to a White House fact sheet.

“It’s not just in big cities but in rural and small towns, small-town Arizona and tribal communities,” Kelly said. “That’s the item on our checklist now.”

The bipartisan bill will face a rough road in the House, where progressive lawmakers want a more robust package but may have to settle for this one to keep Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans on track.

Paying for the package has been a challenge after senators rejected ideas to raise revenue from a new gas tax or other streams.

Instead, it is being financed from funding sources that might not pass muster with deficit hawks, including repurposing some $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid, as well as unemployment assistance that was turned back by some states, and relying on projected future economic growth.

“I’ve been determined to deliver these infrastructure investments that Arizona needs to continue to grow,” Kelly said. “We want to grow and we want to attract new and innovative companies to our state because Arizona’s prosperity depends on continuing to create new, high-paying jobs, including growing our tech sector.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arizona News

(Courtesy photo/Arizona State Lottery)...
Torrence Dunham

2 Mega Millions tickets worth $10K sold in Arizona as jackpot climbs

Two lucky people in Arizona are $10,000 richer after purchasing winning Mega Millions tickets in Friday's drawing, but the grand prize is still up for grabs and growing.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
19 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Husky who recovered from serious burns up for adoption in Scottsdale

A husky who has recovered from serious burns after being found as an underweight stray is ready to be taken home from a Scottsdale adoption center.
19 hours ago
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Motorcyclist dies after 2-vehicle collision on Baseline Road in Phoenix

A motorcyclist who was rushed to the hospital after a two-vehicle wreck Monday morning in Phoenix has died, authorities said.
19 hours ago
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates speaks during a May 17 press conference with other county off...
Danny Shapiro

Maricopa County audit deal with Senate a ‘business decision,’ supervisor says

The deal Maricopa County worked out with the Arizona Senate over router access related to the audit of the 2020 election was a "business decision," according to one supervisor.
19 hours ago
Daniel Robinson was last seen in a remote area of Buckeye, Arizona, on June 23, 2021. His SUV was f...
Kevin Stone

Crews searching desert area for Phoenix man find somebody else’s skull

A human skull uncovered during the search for Daniel Robinson in a remote West Valley area is not of the missing Phoenix man, authorities said.
19 hours ago
Arizona’s Kelly pushes infrastructure needs during first Senate floor speech