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Southern Arizona politicians urge U.S. Senate to pass solar energy investments

Legislative advocates for solar power in Arizona are looking to the federal government for funding, in the form of a $500 million solar energy investment bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last year.

At a recent press conference, Arizona state Rep. Daniel Hernandez of Tucson says the U.S. Senate must act quickly, specifically Arizona Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema.

“In a state that has more sunshine than almost any other state in the country, and almost any other place in the world, it is unconscionable that we are not doing more to invest in ensuring that there is rooftop solar for as many Arizonans as possible,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez says without this funding, a person’s location and income bracket determine their access to clean renewable energy.

"I am a state representative and have been representing one of the poorest communities in Arizona for the past six years, here in southern Arizona. Far too often, your ZIP code determines what options you have for clean air, clean order, and also environmental justice," said Hernandez.

Hernandez says the additional clean energy and jobs the funding would bring would be welcome in his district.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.