ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona launches task force to align priorities for infrastructure bill funding opportunities

Apr 16, 2022, 5:00 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A task force was launched Thursday to align Arizona’s priorities and investments with competitive funding opportunities from the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.

The  $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure spending bill can be used for improvements like modernizing the electric grid, water resilience and storage, expansion of broadband internet, cybersecurity needs and workforce development.

Gov. Doug Ducey, while criticizing the bill, said in a press release that the funding will build upon the state’s infrastructure improvements over the last seven years.

“Arizona has made significant investments in broadband expansion, energy grid resilience and more infrastructure improvements,” Ducey, a Republican, said in the release.

“The federal infrastructure package was way too expensive, but it did pass and we will take full advantage of its competitive funding and optimize these once-in-a-generation funds to support our state’s future.”

Sarah Rose Webber, Arizona’s chief operating officer, was picked to serve as coordinator of the task force that will be made up of state agency leaders, as well as technical and subject matter experts.

“We often don’t think about infrastructure, but it’s a part of our daily lives,” Webber said in the release. “We have a lot to do very quickly, and if we speak and act with one voice, Arizona is better positioned to receive these funds.

The IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) Task Force will set Arizona up for success by building a framework for our state to compete for funding and administer funding statewide.”

Ducey said the task force, which will be established over the next five years, is going to work with local leaders, the private industry and tribal governments to coordinate funding.

The task force will also optimize improvements and track performance related to the spending bill in Arizona.

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Arizona launches task force to align priorities for infrastructure bill funding opportunities