By Madison Hirneisen
The Center Square
(The Center Square) – California is slated to receive about $45.5 billion from the massive infrastructure bill passed in Congress last week, an investment that state officials say will help create jobs and improve infrastructure.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act late Friday, spending $550 billion of new federal investments (coupled with previously approved funds) to improve the nation’s infrastructure over the next five years.
As part of the bill’s passage, states across the country are receiving billions to update transportation systems, advance broadband, improve water infrastructure and update roads and bridges.
California is receiving the largest share of the $1.2 trillion investment, with portions of the funding allocated for upgrades, repairs and expansions of critical infrastructure. The breakdown of the $45.5 billion levels out to about $1,100 per Californian, which is among the lowest of any state, according to CNBC.
Under the spending plan, California expects to receive over five years:
- $25.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs
- $9.45 billion to improve public transportation
- $384 million to expand the electric vehicle charging network
- At least $100 million to expand broadband coverage
- $84 million to protect against wildfires
- $40 million to protect against cyberattacks
- $3.5 billion to improve water infrastructure
- $1.5 billion for infrastructure development at airports.
In a statement, the White House said “the need for action in California is clear,” particularly after a 2019 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state a C- grade on its infrastructure report card.
“The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of California residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth and position the United States to win the 21st century,” the White House said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the infrastructure investment during an appearance at the California Economic Summit on Tuesday, saying that while this is an “unprecedented investment,” the state continues to allocate additional funds toward infrastructure development.
Under the governor’s California Comeback Plan, about $100 billion is being invested into the state’s infrastructure, which will be supported by additional funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Under the plan, $2 billion is allocated to wildfire and emergency preparedness, $3.9 billion is going toward zero-emission vehicle goals, $5.2 billion over three years is going toward drought response and water resilience and $6 billion has been allocated toward expanding broadband.
“Mad respect for the federal government, there’s still no substitute for your state,” Mr. Newsom said Tuesday. “Our state investments are profound and need to maintain in terms of their prominence, and we can’t just look to Washington D.C. to solve all these problems. But nonetheless, we are at a point of real abundance across the spectrum, our ability to invest an unprecedented amount of money in infrastructure and in human capital.”