Economy

Panel endorses revival of an Arizona-Sonora transportation committee

Panel endorses revival of an Arizona-Sonora transportation committee

By CAROLINA MADRID
Cronkite News Service
PHOENIX (Thursday, March 5) _ Reviving a committee to study how best to facilitate transportation between Arizona and Sonora would support business with the state’s No. 1 foreign trade partner, leaders from Yuma County told lawmakers Thursday.
“Without this committee, there’s no one to evaluate how the money (going to border regions) is spent,” said David Randolph, a consultant with the Greater Yuma Port Authority. “We need this oversight so that federal funds are spent strategically.”

David Randolph (left), a consultant with the Greater Yuma Port Authority, Carol Colombo, vice chair of the governor's CANAMEX Task force, Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma, and Rep. Russell L. Jones, R-Yuma, pose after the House Transportation Committee endorsed a bill that would revive a committee to study transportation issues facing Arizona and Sonora. The four said the committee would benefit the Yuma area. (Cronkite News Service Photo/Carolina Madrid)
HB 2481, which won a unanimous endorsement from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, would reinstate the Joint Legislative Review Committee on Transportation between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, which was disbanded two years ago.
Randolph said the committee would act as an advisory board to help the Legislature make better decisions when it comes to spending cash on border projects involving transportation and infrastructure.
Rep. Russell Jones, R-Yuma, the bill’s author, said that with stimulus cash flowing in soon it’s crucial to get the committee up and running.
“This money can strategically leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in Arizona, as opposed to other states,” Jones said.
Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma, a primary sponsor of Jones’ bill, said Yuma is becoming more of an inland port with the completion of the Area Service Highway, which opens way to commercial traffic from San Luis to Interstate 8 in Yuma.


“We need to have a viable committee,” Pancrazi said. “With research and studies, they’d determine how things could be improved.”
Under the bill, the committee would make annual recommendations regarding expenditures from the Safety Enforcement and Transportation Infrastructure Fund maintains facilities, roads and highways within 25 miles of the border.
The joint transportation committee was initially established in 1997. It produced two annual reports dated December 1999 and December 2002 and was later disbanded in 2007.
Carol Colombo, vice chair of the Governor’s CANAMEX Task Force and a supporter of the bill, said the transportation committee could potentially open the door to economic growth in Arizona.
“Making informed decisions about such things is only the beginning of long-term benefits,” Colombo said.
Thursday’s approval sends the bill to the House floor by way of the Rules Committee.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Economy

More in Economy

photo7

In only five years, Latinos will account for over 40% of the increase in U.S. employment

Latina ListaFebruary 25, 2015
Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 3.59.27 PM

Native-born Latinos now outnumber Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. workforce

Latina ListaJune 19, 2014
SHRIVERcovfront

New economic report on women reveals fundamental flaw in society that bears bipartisan blame

Latina ListaJanuary 13, 2014
United States federal government shutdown

If you think you’re safe from Washington’s dsyfunction and the federal shutdown — think again!

Latina ListaOctober 9, 2013
Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.54.53 PM

Video: Veteran organizer Marshall Ganz shares his memories of working for social change with Cesar Chavez

Marisa TreviñoMay 14, 2013

The GOP made it official. War on Latinos, gays, the poor and — working women!

Marisa TreviñoJune 5, 2012

The browning of America doesn’t hold up in losing job market

Marisa TreviñoJune 1, 2012

Immigration reform proposal brings all immigrant laborers into the conversation

Marisa TreviñoMay 15, 2012

FL farmworkers on hunger strike asking why Publix won’t sign on to Fair Food Campaign

Marisa TreviñoMarch 9, 2012