Yesterday I ran across this post by #LD8 Rep. David Cook on a Globe-Miami social page touting his bill to change the formula for HURF funding. He is shocked by Democrats’ no-vote on this. I am shocked by his and others willingness to pit communities within our district against each other and not heed the input from the League of Arizona Cities & Towns, who opposed it.
Here is what Cook said:
DAVID COOK_UPDATE- We were able to get HB 2514 out of the Approps committee yesterday in the Senate on a party line vote 6-4. All the Republicans voted for and I was shocked that all of the Democrats voted against. This bill pays back 44 of the smallest cities and towns for what has been swept/shifted over the last 10 years from their Road funds. It pays back 10 million of the 38 million from 12 small rural counties. Even though it helps Hispanic communities with a median income level of 20k and 88% Hispanic populations the Senate Approps Democrats still voted against it-one calling it something like chump change. I responded – it is their tax money being returned and assured the Senator it was not small money to the people. Next stop – Senate Floor Vote. I am grateful to those that supported the citizens and this legislation and shocked that not one Democrat on the committee supported this bi-Partisan legislation to help some of these small underserved communities.
(The above was posted on the Globe Miami Social Site on March 28th)
As a candidate for House #LD8, my position regarding HB 2514 supports the official position stated by the League of Arizona Cities & Towns. Cook’s attempt to “bring home the bacon” to Globe-Miami ahead of the November elections is actually counterproductive. It is a divisive proposal that pits towns and cities within our Legislative District 8 against each other. Certainly, rural communities across Arizona need more funds for roads, highways, and infrastructure – but driving a wedge between different size communities is not the correct approach.
In addition to many local Chambers of Commerce who OPPOSE Cook’s bill, please read the following statement issued by the highly respected League of AZ Cities & Towns: “[The League] opposes (Cook’s bill HB2514) because we do not believe how HURF money is split is the issue, but rather the issue is there is not enough money in HURF on an annual basis and some of the money is being swept each year and not distributed to cities, towns, counties, and state highways.
“Additionally, we do not believe it is useful to pit rural cities v. urban cities or rural counties v. urban counties.”
I believe in fighting for rural communities’ fair share of state resources, but a divisive approach is counterproductive and will only encourage larger jurisdictions to seek ways to re-balance state funding at our expense. There is a smarter way to legislate. We should follow the League’s advice and fight for greater infrastructure funding across the board – so that ALL LD 8 towns and cities, regardless of population, share the increased resources to facilitate much-needed local projects.