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County Officials Urge Senator McCain To Support Secure Rural Schools
County officials met with Senator McCain to urge his support for the re-authorization of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program. The program, which expires in 2012, grants rural counties funds to provide for school and road maintenance. In 2010, 13 Arizona counties received $17.2 million in funding. If SRS is not funded in 2012, the counties would lose nearly $16 million in funds. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator McCain's support is very important to the re-authorization of SRS.
President Liz Archuleta led the delegation of county officials that included: Supervisor Mandy Metzger (Coconino), Supervisor Hector Ruedas (Greenlee), Supervisor Drew John (Graham), Supervisor Fulton Brock (Maricopa) and Supervisor Tom Thurman (Yavapai). The supervisors were joined by School Superintendents Trudy Berry(Cochise) , Don Covey (Maricopa), Robert Kelty (Coconino), and Tim Carter (Yavapai).
Rural counties in Arizona must fund education and road maintenance through limited business and property tax bases that are restricted by the tax exempt status of national forest land. Timely and reliable payments from SRS guarantee a source of revenue that enable rural communities to meet financial obligations.
County officials stressed the importance of the SRS program and the negative impact on Arizona if SRS is not funded in 2012.
For more information on the Secure Rural Schools Act, click here.
Speaker Adams Speaks At Board Of Supervisors Meeting
Arizona House of Representatives Speaker Kirk Adams spoke with supervisors at this week’s Board of Directors meeting. During the hour-long discussion, Speaker Adams spoke at length about the past, current, and future status of Arizona’s economy. After recognizing and commending supervisors for their dedication to public service during tough times, Speaker Adams went on to characterize the remarkable challenges that plague the state as it emerges from a severe revenue downturn.
The Speaker communicated the very real possibility of the need for a FY11 mid-year budget adjustment, the magnitude of which will be determined by voter action on two ballot referenda: Prop. 301 and Prop. 302. JLBC has estimated that the shortfall could be as high $750 million. He stressed that the FY2012 budget will be further challenged by unfunded requirements of the federal health reform act, estimated at approximately $1 billion. “Funding the federal mandate will cause impacts to all other areas of state governments. There is a need for a structural change in state government. ”
Additionally, the Speaker acknowledged the $80 million in impacts to the counties contained in the FY2011 budget, and shared his appreciation regarding the local challenges this has created.
Courtesy of GOSPB
Governor Jan Brewer announced today the awarding of an additional $4 million to Arizona’s rural counties from her discretionary stimulus funds.
The funds, stemming from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) and the Governor’s Discretionary Fund, are required to be used for one or more of the following purpose areas: education reform, health care and children’s programs, public safety and innovation, technology, and economic development.
The amounts awarded for each county are as follows:
Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal and Yuma will receive $230,769.
Graham and Greenlee will receive $464,969.
La Paz will receive $390,469.
Santa Cruz will receive $445,569.
Yavapai will receive $395,469.
Program details can be found here.
Governor Jan Brewer today announced that a $39.2 million federal broadband infrastructure grant has been awarded to Scottsdale, Arizona based GovNET, Inc. to build a statewide 5 SONET-ring microwave and fiber network that will bring increased Broadband capacity and internet connectivity opportunities to all 15 counties in Arizona. This federal grant award is from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of its ARRA broadband stimulus program.
“Arizona’s vast stretches of missing middle mile infrastructure may soon become a thing of the past,” said Governor Brewer. “Not only will this project create Arizona jobs, the broadband capacity it brings will help with everything from enhancing rural schools and libraries to networking hospitals and healthcare providers. The network also allows for direct communication channels between multiple law enforcement agencies with the potential to improve interoperability issues along the border.”
The application aimed to address additional governmental and rural broadband needs, and led to the creation of an expanded umbrella network called GovNET, of which the State of Arizona's Counties Communication Network has become an integral part.
For more information on this award, click here.
To visit the CSA Calendar of Events, go to www.countysupervisors.org/calendar.