State Rep. Teresa Martinez didn’t get the “Miracle on 34th Street” presentation she wanted this morning.

The legislator’s plans to present Gov. Katie Hobbs with more than 200 letters protesting the state’s intent to cut funding for State Route 347 during a Lucid factory ribbon cutting in Casa Grande were nixed by the company’s public relations team.

“They asked that I not give the governor the emails at the event because they felt it would ambush and embarrass her,” Martinez said. “Looking back, they were right. I’m not looking to embarrass her, because at the end of the day, [Hobbs] is still Arizona’s governor and I need her to support that road.”

It was a minor blow for one of SR 347’s biggest champions, but she still delivered those messages to the governor’s office today.

“I didn’t print out all those emails for the fun of it and I didn’t go buy red ribbon for the fun of it,” Martinez said. “They’re going to the governor.”

A stack of emails to State Rep. Teresa Martinez tied with a bow sits on a couch at the Arizona State Capitol on Jan. 24, 2024. The emails detailed concerns from Maricopa residents about State Route 347. [Courtesy Rep. Teresa Martinez]

Although her plan was foiled, Martinez still spoke with Hobbs about SR 347 concerns over a handshake.

Hobbs didn’t speak back.

“I told her that I have over 200 emails for her from my constituents in Maricopa and I would be more than happy to work with her on saving this money for the roads,” she said. “I know we have to cut the budget and I said I’m willing to work with her to save the money for the 347. It’s extremely important.”

As for the governor’s response? Crickets.

“She didn’t say a word,” Martinez said. “She shook my hand and just looked at me and didn’t say anything. It was very awkward.”

Aaand it’s gone

Last week, the governor’s office proposed axing nearly $420 million in state transportation projects, including $25 million for the Riggs Road traffic interchange on SR 347, to address a massive budget deficit.

The interchange, which underwent studies last year, would assist with reducing traffic congestion and crashes on a state highway that sees an average of one crash every other day, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

It’s a decision Martinez and other leaders don’t agree with.

“I will, in no way support a budget that takes away money from 1-10 or 347,” she told InMaricopa last week. “If I have to go through each agency and find cuts to make up for the money, I’ll do it.”

Martinez suggested she suspects Hobbs doesn’t fully understand the gravity of the scenario.

“I don’t think she’s familiar with SR 347,” she said. “I don’t think that she knows about the road or that she understands the importance of the road, especially to the people who drive it every day.”