Historic investment safeguards Arizona’s water future, funds improvement projects, and creates jobs
Today Arizona Senator Mark Kelly voted to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities including roads, bridges, rail, ports of entry, the electric grid, water systems, and high-speed internet. Kelly is one of the 22 members of the Senate bipartisan group that reached a $1.2 trillion infrastructure agreement, and was part of working groups made up of Senators to draft specific portions of the legislation, including those focusing on water and power infrastructure, superfunds and brownfields, permitting, and wildfire mitigation.
“Arizonans in every corner of our state are going to benefit from these investments, from expanded high-speed internet access, to improved roads and transit options, to better security and shorter wait times at our ports of entry,” said Senator Kelly. “As water levels fall in Lakes Mead and Powell and fires burn across our state and the West, I worked to include priorities that will make our state more resilient to drought and wildfires. This legislation is the product of working together, Republicans and Democrats, to find common ground and work out our differences, and the result is going to be historic investments that create high-paying jobs and bring our economy into the future.”
In total, the bill funds:
- $110 billion to repair bridges and roads and build major highway projects, including unsafe rural roads, $5 billion is expected to go to Arizona for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repair;
- $65 billion to expand affordable, high-speed internet access, with at least $100 million expected to go to Arizona;
- $55 billion for drinking and wastewater infrastructure, with key funding for Arizona programs and projects;
- $8.3 billion for western water infrastructure, with specific funds going towards repairing aging dams in Arizona and funding the Drought Contingency Plan, among other things;
- $65 billion to improve grid reliability and resiliency and allow for the increased use of renewables, as well as a Kelly-authored bill to expand the use of energy management initiatives;
- $39.2 billion for public transit and $66 billion for passenger and freight rail, $884.3 million of which will go to Arizona transit systems;
- $25 billion for airports;
- $8.25 billion for wildfire management, including increasing firefighter pay and a Kelly-authored bill to study and recommend wildland fire prevention, suppression, management, and rehabilitation policies; and
- $3.85 billion for land ports of entry, including $147 million for the San Luis Port of Entry, $216 million for the new Douglas Port of Entry, and $184 million for rehabilitation at the current Douglas Port of Entry.
In addition, the following pieces of legislation sponsored or cosponsored by Senator Kelly are included in the bill: The Demand-Response Management Act of 2021; The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act; The ROCKS Act; The Fixing Infrastructure Damaged by Disasters Act; The High Risk Rural Road Safety Act; and The Highway Cost Allocation Study Act of 2021, added via amendment.
For a full breakdown of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Senator Kelly’s work on it, click here.
Read below to see what the passage of this bill means to leaders across Arizona:
“On behalf of the Navajo Nation, we thank Senator Kelly for his leadership in securing critical investments in the Infrastructure Bill that will benefit Navajo residents and Arizonans,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “This historic measure will provide funding for outdated and nonexistent infrastructure in the areas of roads, bridges, broadband, water, sewer, and clean energy. The investments contained in the bill are the building blocks of our communities. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this transformative legislation.”
“This bipartisan legislation advanced by Senator Kelly will provide the federal investments needed to modernize and expand our transportation infrastructure in the Valley and across the state,” said Jack Sellers, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman (District 1) and former Chairman of the Arizona State Transportation Board. “There is no doubt that this down payment on our infrastructure will create a vibrant Arizona economy that not only connects Arizona families and workers to opportunities, but also improves our quality of life. I’m grateful to Senator Kelly for connecting throughout this process to ensure we are addressing our critical infrastructure needs in Arizona.”
“I am grateful to Senator Kelly for his work to get the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “This generational investment in infrastructure will support our nation’s position in the global economy and will make a tremendous difference on a local level, for much-needed regional transit funding to support the Rio Salado Streetcar expansion, expanded broadband so that every Mesa resident can afford quality internet service for school and work, and airport improvements to support the rapid growth at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway.”
“We are grateful that Senator Kelly understands the unique needs of border towns like Douglas, which relies on its port of entry to fuel the local economy,” said Douglas Mayor Donald Huish. “Getting the federal funding for the two-port solution which includes a new commercial port of entry along with modernization of our existing port has been our priority for years. We are thankful to Senator Kelly for championing these critical upgrades in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
“The San Luis Port of Entry processes millions of non-commercial vehicles and pedestrians every year, and this heavy traffic has aged our port,” said San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez. “I am grateful to Senator Kelly for advocating for much-needed funding in the infrastructure bill to begin the modernization of the San Luis port. Repairing and expanding this vital infrastructure will reduce wait times and increase processing capacity for pedestrians and cross-border travelers.”
“The bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act will accelerate Phoenix’s efforts to complete transportation projects, along with many more of the city’s infrastructure priorities,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “These projects will empower us to create high-paying jobs and connect more families to economic opportunities across our city. Phoenix is grateful for Senator Mark Kelly’s work to shape and help pass this important legislation.”
“This legislation represents a tremendous investment in Tucson’s infrastructure with the possibility of funding exciting new projects such as a state-of-the-art Bus Rapid Transit system, connecting Tucson and Phoenix with passenger rail, and supporting urgently needed PFAS clean-up efforts,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “I am grateful for Senator Sinema’s and Senator Kelly’s leadership to move the bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act across the finish line.”
“I want to extend my gratitude to Senator Kelly for his work to shape and pass this infrastructure bill,” said Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy. “The wildfire management provisions in the legislation, from forest thinning measures to increased firefighter pay to funding critical post-fire assessments, will change lives in and near Flagstaff for the better. This year alone we’ve seen the kind of brutal reality wildfires can create, and I’m thankful that Senator Kelly integrated this important issue into the infrastructure legislation.”
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will revitalize Arizona for decades to come. I’m grateful for Senator Kelly’s initiative to include funding for safer roads, wildfire management and prevention, and expanded high-speed internet access throughout the state,” said Show Low Mayor John Leech, Jr. “It’s clear that the needs of our communities were heard during the drafting process, and I have no doubt that the residents of Show Low will only benefit from this historic investment.”
“The West Valley is predicted to grow at twice the national rate in the next five years, which means this historic investment in Arizona’s infrastructure is critical to bringing Goodyear’s economy into the future,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “Thanks to Senator Kelly, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help repair aging roads and bridges, bring high-speed internet to families across the Valley, take critical steps to safeguard our water future, and create great-paying jobs for Arizonans.”
“Yuma residents stand to benefit greatly from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Senator Kelly helped craft and pass in the Senate,” said Vic Smith, President and CEO of JV Smith Companies and Western Growers Member. “With its key investments in western water storage, funding to repair aging Bureau of Reclamation agricultural projects and irrigation systems, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will propel Yuma’s economy for generations to come.”
“Arizona’s farmers and ranchers are experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the drought, which are exacerbated by aging infrastructure,” said Stefanie Smallhouse, President of the Arizona Farm Bureau. “Arizona Farm Bureau has conveyed this message to Senator Kelly and we’re grateful that the Senator kept the needs of Arizona’s farming and ranching families at the forefront of the discussion on this historic bipartisan infrastructure bill. This is a critical investment in the sustainability of Arizona agriculture.”
“CAWCD is extremely grateful for Senator Kelly’s and Senator Sinema’s leadership in securing funding to address the drought in Arizona,” said Terry Goddard, CAP Board of Directors President. “Specifically, CAWCD applauds the inclusion of funding in the pending infrastructure legislation for the Bureau of Reclamation to meet its commitment under the Drought Contingency Plan to create or conserve 100,000 acre-feet of water or more per year to mitigate the impacts of the drought in Lower Colorado River Basin, which includes Arizona. Water conservation protects water supplies, hydropower and environmental resources in the Lower Colorado River system and is essential as we face shortages impacting CAP water users.”
“The Navajo Nation is deeply grateful to Senator Mark Kelly for fighting for resources to fund basic needs of the Navajo Nation and our Navajo people. He has heard the voices of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and ensured the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes critical funding for long overdue infrastructure investments for all 110 chapters across the Navajo Nation,” said Seth Damon, Speaker of the 24th Navajo Nation Council. “Through Senator Kelly’s efforts, the bipartisan infrastructure bill will improve sanitation for an estimated 15,000 Navajo homes and thousands of other homes in tribal communities across Arizona. We know the leadership of Senator Kelly was essential to move this issue forward. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this legislation.”