[OP-ED] Hobbs must restore SR 24 funds

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents a coalition of property and business owners throughout Pinal County who have worked to bring new transportation infrastructure to the region.)

By Julia Wheatley, mayor, Queen Creek and Mike Goodman, chairman, Pinal County Board of Supervisors

On Jan. 12, Gov. Hobbs released her Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Executive Budget proposal. While we recognize the state is facing a budgetary shortfall this year, we didn’t expect to see a proposed clawback of funding in the amount of $87.5 million for the State Route 24, a critical freeway in the southeast Valley and Pinal County which needs to be extended.

This area encompasses the fastest-growing community in the entire state (Queen Creek), the southeastern portion of the third largest municipality in Arizona (Mesa), a large unincorporated community over 100,000 in population known as San Tan Valley (Pinal County), and 10,000 new residential homes planned (Apache Junction) on State Trust Land.

The inclusion of $87.5 million in last year’s state budget, signed by the governor herself, recognized the need for additional investment in this portion of the state. Funding the extension of this freeway east and an interchange at Ironwood Road is an economic development win and enhances the value of the State Trust Lands it traverses. The State Trust Land proceeds go to fund critical state services, including K-12 education.


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February 2024