What Does Arizona Need From The American Jobs Plan?
A few weeks ago president Biden released his American Jobs Plan to make the infrastructure better and get Americans back to work. The price tag for this plan is nearly 2.3 trillion dollars. While this is being negotiated in Congress to try and get this passed, President Biden said he is willing to negotiate but he’s not going to accept doing nothing to fix our infrastructure.
The White House released a state by state plan that highlights what needs to be done in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. The fact sheets highlight how many roads and bridges need repairs, percentage of those without broadband internet, and many other things.
In this article we are going to focus specifically on the state of Arizona and what needs to be done in the state to make it better. When looking at the overall infrastructure, it earned a C from the infrastructure report card.
In the state of Arizona there are 132 bridges and over 3,100 miles of highway needing repairs. According to the fact sheet since the year 2011 commute times have increased 11%. On average Arizona residents spend 614 dollars a year on repairs to their vehicles from driving on the roads.
Residents in Arizona that use public transportation spend an extra 90% of their time commuting, and non white households are two times more likely to rely on public transportation as their only means of transportation. 4% of trains and public vehicles in Arizona are past their usable lifespan.
In the last 10 years, Arizona has experienced 13 extreme weather storms, costing the state over 10 billion dollars in damages. In the next 20 years it’s going to cost the state of Arizona 9.1 billion dollars to create safe drinking water.
One of the most talked about parts of this infrastructure bill is broadband internet. In the state of Arizona 14% of residents don’t have reliable broadband internet. Along with this, about 45% of the state only has one internet company to choose from. Just because certain parts of the state may have reliable internet, 13% of households go without an internet subscription, generally due to a lack of affordability.
Due to the lack of affordable housing and homes in Arizona, there are 410,000 renters that spend 30% or more of their income on rent. On top of this the average Arizona resident spends 6–8% of their income on electricity.
Schools in Arizona need an estimated 587 million dollars in necessary improvements. 48% of Arizona’s residents don’t have access to childcare.
Manufacturing accounts for more than 8.6% of the state’s output, employing 177,000 workers. This makes up about 6% of the workforce. In 2019, the clean energy industry employed 62,106 workers. In the state of Arizona there are 555,000 veterans. 9% of them are women and 51% are over the age of 65 years old.
To see what is exactly in the bill and how much money is going to each section, listen to this episode of Blind Boys Politics.