Arizona PIRG Education Fund
June 29th, 2009 marks the 120-day deadline for Arizona and the other states to commit at least 50% of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) $26.6 billion in transportation funds. It provides a vantage point to examine how states are using the money, with a particular focus on the $527 million apportioned to Arizona.
This report reviews project choices to answer critical questions about states’ accountability to the taxpayers who are providing tens of billions of dollars for new transportation projects. These questions include:
- Are states and urban areas investing stimulus funds in projects that will generate the most jobs and create transportation for the 21st century?
- Are states and urban areas making progress on the objectives for the ARRA funds?
- Are choices in spending ARRA funds transparent and accountable? Was the public well informed about how those spending decisions were being made and given an early opportunity to have a say in how the money would be spent?
To set the stage for answers to these questions, the report:
- describes the purposes of the law;
- describes the wide range of investments available to the states and urban areas;
- documents the expected outcomes of the legislation as articulated by the President and U.S. Secretary of Transportation; and
- compares the economic benefits of building roads, building public transportation, and repairing roads and bridges.