The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, is going to bring much-needed infrastructure improvements to Wisconsin. Some of the provisions include funding for transportation improvements, replacing poisonous lead pipes, providing Wisconsinites with clean, safe drinking water, and expanding broadband to more rural areas all over the state.
Because the bill is now law, Wisconsin could expect to get:
- $5.2 billion for highway programs and $225 million for bridge replacement/repairs
- $592 million for public transportation improvements
- $79 million for electric vehicle charging networking
- At least $100 million to improve and expand broadband coverage across the state
- $20 million to protect against wildfires
- $18 million for cybersecurity
- $841 million to replace lead pipes and ensure clean drinking water for Wisconsinites
- $198 million for improvements to Wisconsin’s airports
In a refreshing change of pace for Washington, obstructionists were not able to stonewall and sink a good piece of legislation. In fact, it passed in a bipartisan manner, with a handful of Republicans voting with most Democrats to pass the bill (In fact, the only Democrats to vote against the bill did so not because they disliked the bill but rather because they wanted to ensure that both the IIJA and the Build Back Better bill were passed in conjunction).
Over the next five years or so, the impact from this immensely important bill are going to be felt in Wisconsin. During the pandemic, we’ve learned how important it is for everyone to have access to a working broadband connection. We have learned the dire need to replace lead water lines, especially in places like Milwaukee. We will fight back against climate change and move to a more carbon neutral future with an investment in electric vehicle charging.
IIJA is strong bill that will benefit Wisconsin residents. And, in the end, that is what the job of elected officials is- to improve the lives of the people they represent. It’s what I strive to do every day in my job, and I thank the federal Wisconsin Congresspeople who voted for IIJA- Representative Ron Kind, Representative Mark Pocan, Representative Gwen Moore, and Senator Tammy Baldwin. Now, let’s pass the Build Back Better bill!