In November of 2021, the federal government passed the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) to improve the physical and social well-being of the many communities in America. Even though they’ve invested trillions of dollars into making America a better place for its people, they can’t build a better America without the help of local and state leadership.
This infrastructure is full of advancements that affect energy, transportation, and internet industries, enhancing our competitiveness, creating good jobs, and making our economy more sustainable.
If you aren’t sure what the infrastructure bill is or who it benefits, you will want to continue reading below. This brief guide will cover all you need to know about this bill and who you can contact for business strategies.
The infrastructure bill, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act (IIJA), was signed into law on November 15th, 2021, by President Joe Biden. The IIJA is a 1.2 trillion dollar bill that includes $550 billion in funding to rebuild resilience, water infrastructure, internet, roads, bridges, etc. This bill falls into three main sections:
As more people work from home, the demand for broadband internet is high. More than 30 million people in America live in areas without broadband infrastructure. This leaves them without reliable and reasonable means to do their jobs or go to school.
The IIJA provides Americans with $65 billion to help ensure that everyone has access to reliable high-speed internet. The legislation will also help lower internet service costs to help close the digital gap.
In 2021 alone, there were 22 significant weather and climate-related disasters, which totaled more than $1 billion in losses each. Communities of color are more likely to live in areas more vulnerable to flooding and other weather changes.
The plan is to make communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the effects of cyber-attacks and climate change. $50 billion of the IIJA’s approved bill will be allocated to protect against wildfires, floods, and droughts. It will also focus on weatherization.
Available broadband and cyber programs:
The ReConnect Program is an already existing program that will provide $2 billion in grants and loans for broadband projects in rural cities. To help prevent cyber-attacks, $1 billion of the IIJA is available for tribal, state, and local governments to address cyber risks and threats.
Power outages each year cost Americans more than $70 billion. IIJA will upgrade our power infrastructure to provide more communities with reliable, clean energy to reduce this cost.
This infrastructure law’s 65 million dollar investment includes funds allocated to building thousands of new resilient transmission lines to expand clean and renewable energy. This money will also fund new programs and businesses that develop and deploy cutting-edge clean energy technology. The overall goal of this program from the climate and energy perspective is to move our country to a zero-emissions economy.
Climate and Environment Programs:
It is important to note that these programs may not have opened up to applicants yet. Some of these programs aren’t available until the end of the year. In the meantime, we do have plenty of tips to prep you and your team when you are ready to apply for the IIJA environment grants.
The PROTECT (Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation) provides competitive grants from the Highway Trust Fund. Counties can apply for this grant directly through USDOT to carry out projects that enhance the resiliency of infrastructure assets. These can be projects that carry out projects that improve the resilience of evacuation routes and surface transportation assets.
It is no question that the public transit infrastructure in America is inadequate. There is currently a multibillion-dollar repair backlog full of power systems, buses, stations, and thousands of miles of track that need replacing or updating.
Communities of color are the ones who take the biggest hit. Many of these communities depend on public transportation to get them to school, work, or to get the groceries they need for their families.
The IIJA legislation will provide $39 billion of new investment to update and modernize public transportation. This bill also includes a total of $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding to expand public transit options over the next five years.
This program mainly focuses on helping disadvantaged communities that are cut in half or nearly destroyed by a highway. Reconnecting Communities will provide funding to tribal governments, local, state, and metropolitan planning organizations to plan, design, and reconstruct the communities’ parks, street grids, or other infrastructure needs.
The IIJA and the build back better act will both provide communities with access to more than $3 trillion in spending money to improve their lives and communities. The infrastructure bill focuses more on “hard infrastructure” such as waterways, bridges, roads, and other physical structures.
The Build Back Better Act focuses more on social issues such as childcare and family and medical leave.
Build Back Better Act concentrations:
The Build Back Better Act will also help small businesses in disadvantaged areas. Both of these acts will support and improve many people’s lives in several different communities, so be sure to check out their programs this year.
On November 15, 2021, the bill became law immediately when President Joe Biden signed the document. When people ask this type of question, they usually mean, “when will the spending start?”. Given the challenges in many of these industries, spending will most likely start throughout this year and continue for the next few years.
Many communities in the United States don’t have access to clean drinking water. In fact, about 10 million households and 400,000 child care centers and schools don’t have safe drinking water.
The infrastructure bill will provide $55 billion to expand access to clean water for households, schools, child care centers, and businesses across the country. The legislation plans on investing in eliminating lead service pipes, especially in tribal nations and other disadvantaged communities.
This bill will help the united states improve its competitiveness and create better jobs at these airports and port hubs. We have spent decades neglecting and underinvesting in our supply chain infrastructure, which is evident in how we responded to the pandemic. There were mass disruptions in our supply chain that caused inflation.
In addition to our airports, legislation will invest in repairing and reimagining waterways and ports. $17 billion is invested for waterways and port infrastructure, whereas $25 billion will repair and maintain airports.
This money will go to reducing congestion and emissions near ports and airports. Making these improvements will support the competitiveness of the United States by expediting commerce and removing bottlenecks.
When compared to our competitors, the United States’ share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is only one-third of their EV markets. The legislation plans on investing $7.5 billion to build out a national network of electric vehicle chargers in the United States.
This is a huge step in fighting the climate crisis issue and creating good manufacturing jobs for millions of Americans. The President’s goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, improve air quality, and reduce emissions.
In thousands of urban and rural communities across the United States lies many former energy and industrial sites that are now sitting idle. Living close to these sites can lead to elevated lead levels in a person’s blood, especially in children.
The bill will invest twenty-one billion dollars in cleaning up these sites, reclaim abandoned mine land, and cap orphaned gas and oil wells. By investing in cleaning up these sites, these projects will address the legacy pollution issue that harms local communities, remediates environmental harms, and provide more Americans with good-paying jobs.
The IIJA is a once-in-a-generation type of bill that will historically change the lives of many Americans in several different ways. Suppose your business is directly impacted by this new wave of repairs and maintenance changes. In that case, you may want to start creating a strategy and seek to apply for the IIJA in order to protect you and your business’s interest as these programs open up this year.
If you want to learn more about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and need advice on the best course of action, contact us now.
ACG Advocacy has long worked with municipalities and local governments to provide guidance and direction, advocate for the organization’s objectives to key policy makers, and deliver timely and precise analysis of the regulatory and legislative landscape.
We pride ourselves on our thorough knowledge of policy, process, people and politics as we believe all of those elements to be essential to providing tactical counsel that leads to successful policy outcomes.
We are able to achieve legislative and regulatory goals because of our strong public policy backgrounds – we have passed legislation, developed regulations, and managed agencies and congressional committees.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts to discuss how you can secure funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With billions of dollars available in federal loans and grants, there’s no better time to lobby your case than the present.
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