Originally Published: February 20, 2004 7 a.m.
President Bush recently signed legislation into law that brings more than $9 million in federal money directly to rural Arizona.
This important appropriations bill, H.R. 2673, will pay for projects to improve our schools, make our roadways safer and promote public transportation and pay for improved law enforcement activities.
Our local communities deserve an equal share of federal spending in comparison to Phoenix and Tucson. As your rural representative, I will continue to fight in Washington to bring your hard-earned tax dollars back to rural Arizona.
Nothing is more important than the quality of our children's education. The improvement of our rural education system is key to the future of our local communities and sustained economic prosperity. With the approval of H.R. 2673, schools in rural Arizona will receive $1.5 million in special money for districts facing challenges in meeting the new standards related to the No Child Left Behind Act. I insisted that this money come without federal strings attached, to give local county school superintendents the ability to assess and distribute this money where they can use it best. In addition to this money, another $1.3 million will go to advanced research at Northern Arizona University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Our transportation system in rural Arizona requires an infusion of new capital investment. Upgrades to our roadways and bridges are long overdue. H.R. 2673 contains more than $5 million in federal cash for the improvement of rural Arizona bridges, roadways and upgrades to public transportation. These projects benefit our communities by reducing the amount of traffic on our streets and rural highways, improving public safety, increasing economic productivity and decreasing pollution.
I am a strong advocate of transportation initiatives that keep rural Arizona free of the heavy congestion that chokes big cities across the country.
Crime prevention begins with the vigilant enforcement of our laws, and a full- time presence on our streets and rural roads. With these responsibilities in mind, it is important for our local police and sheriff's departments to have access to modern law enforcement equipment and technology.
Our neighborhoods and communities will benefit from more than $500,000 included in H.R. 2673 designated to modernize outdated police equipment and provide for increased investigative and preventative capabilities for local law enforcement agencies. Support for rural Arizona law enforcement and crime prevention activities benefit our entire community.
It is my priority to bring your tax dollars back to our local communities. To date, my office has secured more than $100 million in federal appropriations for projects in rural Arizona. As we begin a new year, be assured that I will continue to fight for our fair share of federal resources.
Rep. Renzi is a congressman from Arizona Congressional District 1.