Sen. Kyrsten Sinema secures funding for AZ drought relief, tech industry

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -On a day President Joe Biden was signing the CHIPS bill into law, one of the chief sponsors, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, was on a listening tour at the UArizona Cancer Center.

The center was named as a highest NCI Designation as Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 53 nationwide and the only one in Arizona. It’s the highest awards by the National Cancer Institute.

“What the cancer center here is doing is incredible research to treat these cancers,” Sinema said. “But it’s also to think about prevention, how to prevent some of these cancers in our communities.”

It includes a 30 year study as to why firefighters have such a high incidence of cancer.

But the $280 billion CHIPS bill was not far from her mind. It sets aside $50 billion to bring chip production back fr0m China to the US shores and also establishes about a dozen tech hubs throughout the country, tech hubs which bring thousands of high paying jobs and clean industry.

Sinema says she hopes one of those tech hubs is approved for Arizona.

“We’ll have to fight for this because its a competitive process to one of those tech hubs in Arizona,” she said. “We’ve got the people power, the innovations and really the groundbreaking science to make this an attractive place.”

It’s been a busy week for Sinema who was the last holdout of the Infrastructure Reduction Plan, a $360 billion dollar climate, energy and tax plan. Her vote paved the way for passage in the Senate. The bill is now in Congress where it’s expected to pass before reaching the President’s desk.

By holding out, Sinema was able to get $4 billion in drought relief for the state’s which rely on the Colorado River, which is at its lowest level in decades.

“In Arizona, we know right now we are facing an unprecedented 12 hundred year drought,” Sinema said.

The bill will target farmers, especially in Southern Arizona, who are struggling to keep their farms and increase yields.

The money will help those farmers stay afloat while science finds a way to help them maintain yields while using less water.

“So this legislation is going to allow us to help provide some compensation to farmers in the short term who may have to have their fields go fallow for a short period of time,” she said. “Our job is to find new creating innovative ways to reuse water, to be efficient with water and to find new ways to engage in farming to keep those yields while using less water.”

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