KGUN 9News


State money more likely for January 8th Memorial

Funding bill clears key House committee
Posted at 7:44 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 21:44:23-05
PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV) - State lawmakers are thinking of spending two and a half million dollars to help build a memorial to Tucson's January 8th mass shooting.
 In 2011, six people were killed and thirteen wounded, including then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords..
Now a bill is moving through the Arizona Legislature to help build a place to remember the past and look ahead to the future. Wednesday afternoon, it cleared the House Appropriations Committee.
The January 8th shooting left six dead, thirteen wounded by bullets, and a community wounded by the burst of madness, violence and death.
The memorial planned to remember that day is meant to be a place to look back and remember the pain, and look forward through recovery and strength.
Pam Simon was one of the thirteen shot that day.
"There's not a day that goes by when somebody does not say, 'On that day I was..' and they think back to exactly where they were and it affected people's lives not just in Tucson but around the country and even around the world."
Democratic State Representative Daniel Hernandez was an intern in Gabrielle Giffords Congressional office. He gave first aid to help her reach the hospital alive.  
Democratic State Rep Randall Friese is a doctor who was on the trauma team that saved Giffords and others. They are all backing the bill but Republican State Representative Todd Clodfelter is leading the fight. He has to persuade lawmakers who think state money could be better spent elsewhere.
"I personally believe it's got value to the community.  It's got value to the state and we owe it to the nation to remember these people and remember what happened so we are reminded it should never happen again."
The memorial is looking for more than approval from lawmakers at the Arizona State Capitol.  It also is seeking approval of lawmakers in Washington DC where there's a bill moving through to designate the memorial as part of the National Park System.
Congresswoman Martha McSally is leading that effort in another example of how January 8th tied lives together. She holds the seat on Congress once held by Gabrielle Giffords.