Arizona residents, commerce, schools, infrastructure, businesses, transportation sectors, and local governments have benefited greatly from the infusion of funds provided by both the Biden/Harris American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure legislation.
Whether it is funding for providing COVID 19 tests and vaccines, expanded broadband, road repair, airport expansion, aid to small businesses and local governments, reduced health care costs, tax cuts for the middle and working class, replacing lead pipes that water flows through, potential railway expansion from Tucson to Phoenix, assistance in reopening schools, and investments on Tribal Nations, the two monumental legislative achievements of the Biden/Harris Administration’s first year has had a positive impact for everyone across the Grand Canyon state, including two of Arizona’s most important cities: Phoenix and Tucson.
Both Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero are thrilled with the funding provided by both the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation and how the monies will help move their cities forward.
How the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation have helped Phoenix?
While it is too early to report on the spending on infrastructure projects in Phoenix, the City has set up a site to track the nearly $200,000,000 it has received in American Rescue Plan funding.
The City has divided these funding areas into six vital areas. These are:
- Mitigation and Care for Home Populations.
- Households and Rental Assistance.
- Better Health Outcomes and Community Testing and Vaccines.
- Phoenix Resilient Food System.
- Phoenix Art, Business, and Employee Assistance Programs.
- Youth, Sports, Recreation, and After school.
Phoenix has already allocated funds to COVID 19 mitigation and vaccination drives, small business and worker assistance, aid for the homelessness during extreme heat, grants for art and culture programs, combatting food insecurity, and transportation voucher efforts.
Commenting on both the American Rescue Plan and Infrastructure Programs, Mayor Gallego commented:
“The infrastructure package is a once in a generation opportunity to make bold investments that can change the future of our communities across greater Phoenix, and the city will approach investments with the same tenacity, transparency and responsibility as we have with the success achieved through our ARPA Strategic Plan. For decades, infrastructure in Arizona has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver and become an impactful jobs generator and economic development driver to fuel our recovery from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 emergency”
How the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation have helped Tucson?
Tucson has so far received $67,000,000 of the $136,000,000 in American Rescue Plan funding. Like Phoenix, it is too early to report on the allocations from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation.
The American Rescue Plan funding has been divided among city managed projects ($102.4 million over four years) and community grant projects ($33.8 million over four years.)
Funding will be allotted under the following categories:
Relief for Families, Essential and Frontline Workers, and Small Businesses
Community Reinvestment and Recovers (Parks, Arts, and Culture)
Investment in Digital Literacy and Access (Includes Cybersecurity)
Promoting Affordable and Stable Housing
Investment in the Organization
Commenting on both Biden/Harris programs, Mayor Romero stated:
“Our investment of ARP dollars will stabilize affordable housing, prevent crime through violence interruption programs and invest in historically disenfranchised communities.”
“I’ve worked with my colleagues on the Council and our City staff to implement the Electric Vehicle Readiness Roadmap that will accelerate the adoption of EVs not just for city government; but, to construct an EV grid throughout the entire Tucson community in partnership with the private sector. This is an important step to take in order to be best prepared to compete for federal infrastructure dollars….
Creating a climate resilient city is important to all Tucsonans and an important driver of our economic development.”
On the Tucson American Rescue Plan site, Mayor Romero relayed:
“Tucsonans have let us know, loud and clear, that transformative change is wanted and needed as we work to build back better. We have a unique opportunity to focus on equity while strategically partnering with organizations and business to invest in programs, services and infrastructure that will make a meaningful difference in the quality of life for every Tucsonan.”
Phoenix and Tucson are two strong examples of how the efforts of the Biden/Harris Administration and the Arizona Democratic Congressional Delegation (remember no Arizona Republican voted for either bill) have helped the people and institutions of the Grand Canyon state combat COVID 19, rebuild from the pandemic, and start the process of modernizing and moving forward.
While more work needs to be done and these two pieces of legislation will take years to realize all their goals, no one can say the Biden/Harris Administration has not had a positive impact on Arizona and its residents.