Building a better California: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Nov. 15, 2021. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill will increase jobs by funding infrastructure such as roads and highways, public transit, active transportation, rail, ports and waterways, and airports. The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) staff is studying the details of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to best help partner jurisdictions — San Joaquin County and the cities of Stockton, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Escalon and Lathrop — to explore and take advantage of this opportunity to fund a range of projects to improve the lives of their residents.
What it means to the Central Valley
SJCOG Executive Director Diane Nguyen will be a panelist for “The Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: A Conversation on the Impact in Central California” at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 18. Learn more about the event and the other panelists and register for the WTS Central Valley event at https://bit.ly/3BQaZ50.
What it means to California
While it is still too early to tell how much money will make its way to local and regional jurisdictions, the White House has suggested what California will receive. The White House’s California fact sheet for the roughly $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has more details, but generally California will likely receive over five years:
- $25.3 billion for highway improvements.
- $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs.
- $9.45 billion to improve public transportation options across the state.
- $384 million to support expanding the charging network for electric vehicles (EV).
- California also can apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.
- A minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including access to the half million or more Californians who lack it now. Some 10.6 million Californians will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
- $84 million to protect against wildfires.
- $40 million to protect against cyberattacks.
- $3.5 billion for weatherization, which will reduce energy costs for families.
- $3.5 billion to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
- $1.5 billion for infrastructure improvements for airports in California.
What is next
Next, federal agencies such as the Department of Transportation will begin implementing the law, developing new programs, and finding ways to get the money to the states. Local and regional agencies, which own and operate most of the infrastructure, must then design and build new facilities, hire more workers, and mobilize their own financial resources.