Hello all,

The first committee hearing deadline of the session arrived today. Bills that were not approved by their initially assigned committees by now are dead. The Appropriations Committees being the exception although it appears that at least the House Appropriations Committee will attempt to complete all of their work on remaining House bills next week and have scheduled a special meeting on Monday morning in addition to their regularly scheduled Wednesday 2:00 meeting. The same 46 bills are posted on both agendas and it will still be a herculean task to complete that agenda even with the added meeting.

HB2543, the RTAC rural transportation priority project legislation, introduced by Rep. Tim Dunn of Yuma, sailed out of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee with a 9-1 vote on Wednesday and is one of the 46 bills on next week's Appropriations Committee agendas. The list of projects is attached along with an amendment sponsored by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman David Cook that was approved in the Committee adding an additional $31M worth of projects to the bill.

The bill could be heard as early as Monday morning so please don't wait to register your support with the Legislature. Also, please do not hesitate to contact the House appropriators directly:

David Livingston (Chairman) dlivingston@azleg.gov
Joseph Chaplick (Vice-Chair) jchaplick@azleg.gov
Lorena Austin laustin@azleg.gov
Selina Bliss sbliss@azleg.gov
Michael Carbone mcarbone@azleg.gov
Lupe Diaz ldiaz@azleg.gov
Tim Dunn tdunn@azleg.gov
Matt Gress mgress@azleg.gov
Quang Nguyen qnguyen@azleg.gov
Barbara Parker bparker@azleg.gov
Marcelino Quinonez mquinonez@azleg.gov
Athena Salman asalman@azleg.gov
Judy Schweibert jschweibert@azleg.gov
Amish Shah ashah@azleg.gov
Stephanie Stahl Hamilton sstahlhamilton@azleg.gov

Also on Monday morning at 9:30, the Senate Committee on Director Nominations will be meeting to consider the nomination of Jennifer Toth as the Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. RTAC has recommended her appointment due to her impressive qualifications and the collective experience that RTAC officials have had working with Jennifer in her various positions as a transportation professional in Arizona over the last two & half decades.

If you have a "Request to Speak" account on the Legislature's website, you can register your support for Jennifer in the same manner that the site allows you to register a position on a bill. I would also encourage you to contact all Senators, but for Monday, the Senators who will be considering her nomination on the committee are:

Jake Hoffman (Chairman) jake.hoffman@azleg.gov
Sine Kerr (Vice Chair) skerr@azleg.gov
Lela Alston lalston@azleg.gov
Eva Burch eburch@azleg.gov
T.J. Shope tshope@azleg.gov

Lastly, at the State Transportation Board meeting today, the first AZ SMART Fund grants were awarded to Navajo County (SR-260 study between Show Low & Pinetop-Lakeside), Clarkdale (Clarkdale Bridge) and Bisbee (Commerce Street). Congratulations to those three jurisdictions. Director Toth has expressed her desire to generate more interest for the Fund so that rural communities can take full advantage of the federal competitive grant opportunities currently available. The AZ SMART Fund provides funding assistance for federal transportation competitive grant applications. Award funding can be used for application preparation, developing projects to federal design & engineering standards, and covering local match requirements. Expect more from ADOT to promote the use of this funding. The Legislature appropriated $50M in non-lapsing funding for this program last year as proposed by Governor Ducey and Governor Hobbs has recommended an additional $25M for the program in her budget proposal for next year.

An updated transportation bill matrix is attached with the status of each bill and also notice of any scheduled action in the upcoming week. You may want to hold on to this version for future reference as the bills that failed to meet their hearing deadlines will be removed from next week's updated matrix.

Kevin Adam,
Legislative Liaison
Rural Transportation Advocacy Council