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Mark Kelly says U.S. is “a step behind” in coronavirus recovery


YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - As the primary election approaches, News 11's April Hettinger spoke with Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly (D) on his viewpoints and plans of action.

The primary election is only two days away, and candidate Mark Kelly for U.S. Senate joined us earlier for an in-studio interview.

Mr. Kelly, how should the state respond to reopening schools during the pandemic?

Kelly says, "I think every kid has the right in our country and should get a very public and quality education. That's really an investment in our future. I often worry here in the state of Arizona, when you consider per-pupil spending, we're very low, and teacher salaries are very low. So, we're not investing in the future of our state. COVID-19 has presented an unusual sort of circumstance. Ultimately, we're going to have to figure out, how do we get through this, how do we get kids back in the classroom but do it safely. We don't want to do things like this prematurely and spread this virus further."

In reference to unemployment, many Arizonans are wondering what's next. What are your plans?

"We've got hundreds of thousands of Arizonans just this weekend that have come to the realization that they're not going to get that extended unemployment benefit check. Congress needs to act. They need to do it now. Folks have rent due and they need to put groceries on the table."

How about small businesses? What do you plan to do to keep them afloat?

"Small businesses are the backbone of the economy here in the state of Arizona. 40% of Arizonans before coronavirus worked at a small business. There were 550,000 small businesses in the state. So, we need to make sure that they can keep their heads above water, and small business owners, they have been stepping up to the plate."

How would you rate the state's COVID-19 response effort?

"There are things we are doing as a country and as a state in March that could have been done in January. We have consistently, not only here as a state but at the federal level, been a step behind. And, I think it's a crisis of leadership, and we've got to do better. At the same time, we've got to think of a path to get people back to work, but we've got to do it safely and responsibly."

Just to wrap things up here, what's one message you'd like to get across to voters in this primary election?

"All elections matter. They're incredibly important. We've got two days before a primary and then we've got the general election on November 3. It's your chance to exercise that part of our democracy, so I encourage people to vote. Try to do it as safely as possible."

Article Topic Follows: Decision 2024

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.


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