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Northern Arizona To See The Benefits From The New Infrastructure Package Passed Tuesday

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The U.S. Senate passed the $1.2-trillion infrastructure package Tuesday morning. Both Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema voted yes on the legislation. The bill passed 69-to-30. Kelly said in a statement after the vote, “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.” In the package, Arizona will receive $8.25-billion for wildfire management, including increased firefighter pay, along with a Kelly-authored bill to study and recommend wildland fire prevention, suppression, management and rehabilitation policies. Also $8.3-billion will go to western water infrastructure, with specific funds going towards repairing aging dams in the state and funding the Drought Contingency Plan. Around $55-billion dollars will go for drinking and wastewater infrastructure, with key funding for Arizona projects, $100-million will go to Arizona for broadband expansion and five-billion dollars is earmarked for Arizona for federal-aid highway apportioned programs, with $225-million for bridge replacement and repair. The package has the support of Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Seth Damon, Navajo Nation Tribal Speaker, Show Low Mayor John Leech Junior and Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy. The bill still has to pass the House of Representatives before heading to President Biden’s desk.