Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today voted to advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and modernize the nation’s outdated infrastructure.
“In the last few months we’ve seen the collapse of an apartment building, an overpass fall onto a highway and wildfires threaten our electric grid. Add to that the derelict roads and bridges on which we drive, the lethargic broadband our students and businesses rely on and the need for more zero-emissions technology and it’s clear we need this bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Senator Feinstein said.
“California’s success drives the nation, but much of our infrastructure is ancient. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave California a C- on its infrastructure report card – that’s not good enough for the fifth-largest economy in the world. We need to create jobs, modernize our infrastructure, reduce carbon emissions and improve living standards, and this bill will help gets us there.
“California desperately needs an infusion of funds to repair roads and bridges, improve and expand public transit, modernize dated water systems, upgrade our electricity grid, prepare for wildfires and more. We contribute far more federal taxes than we see in benefits, so I’m pleased this bill directs significant funds to our state.
“We can invest today and continue to be a leader in the world, or we can sit back and watch other countries surpass us. We have an opportunity before us that is once-in-a-generation, and we should take it while can.”
How the bill would benefit California:
- Wildfires: The bill includes $3.37 billion for wildfire risk reduction efforts including hazardous fuels reduction, controlled burns, community wildfire defense grants and landscape forest restoration projects. This includes $600 million to increase salaries for firefighters and the conversion of 1,000 firefighters from seasonal to permanent. Another $5 billion is included in the bill for the undergrounding of power lines.
- Roads and bridges: California has 1,536 bridges and more than 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition. The bill includes $110 billion for highways, roads and bridges, including $36.7 billion for a bridge grant program, $5 billion in a new multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional program for projects of regional significance, and $7.5 billion in the RAISE (formerly BUILD) grant program.
- Drought: The bill includes $8.3 billion in Western water funding, much of which would go to California. This includes $1.15 billion for storage projects, including Sites and Los Vaqueros Reservoir; $1 billion for water recycling, including a new large water recycling program; and $500 million for dam safety projects, including critical seismic retrofits.
- Transit: The bill includes $39 billion in new spending for public transit. These funds would help complete key transit projects in high-traffic areas such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles, including $8 billion for the Capital Investment Grant Program.