Some lawmakers are trying to stop 144 American cities from losing their designations as “metropolitan areas.”
The federal government wants to update the standard from at least 50,000 residents in a city’s urban core to a minimum of 100,000 people. Arizona Senator Mark Kelly (D) and Republican John Thune of South Dakota introduced Senate legislation Tuesday that would stop the Office of Budget and Management from making the change.
The lawmakers said the downgrade would cause real harm, preventing urban areas from getting designated federal funding and making them less attractive for economic development.
According to the Associated Press, four cities in Arizona would lose their designation as a metropolitan area: Lake Havasu City, Prescott Valley-Prescott, Flagstaff and Sierra Vista.
144 cities could lose status as metro areas
Under a federal proposal, a metro area would have to have at least 100,000 people compared with the 50,000-person threshold that was implemented more than 70 years ago. The change could affect these 144 cities.