FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 6, 2021
Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Delivers Major Win for North Dakota
Bismarck, ND – After months of intense negotiations, Americans are finally getting the Infrastructure Week they were promised. Friday evening, Congress passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Deal—a once-in-a-generation investment that will create millions of jobs, while modernizing our infrastructure, improving and strengthening supply chains, and boost US competitiveness for years to come.
In 2019, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave North Dakota a C grade on its infrastructure report card, highlighting the dire need for improvements to our roads, waterways, and towns. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act addresses those needs – providing the essential funding necessary to make a positive, lasting impact on our state, our workers, and our families
Representative Zac Ista (D-Grand Forks) praised the bill’s passage saying, “Thanks to the tireless leadership of President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress, this major commitment to improving our nation’s infrastructure is now set to become law. This will be a huge win for North Dakota, and the rest of the country. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (himself a former Republican Congressman) told the National Conference of State Legislatures that this bill will help ease the supply chain issues we’ve been experiencing.”
The long-awaited breakthrough in Congress comes just as the North Dakota Legislature will be allocating over one billion dollars invested in North Dakota through the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Biden earlier in the year. “This historic achievement will finally bring essential funding for North Dakota’s infrastructure, but let’s do more. Let’s take advantage of this accomplishment in the North Dakota tradition by being bold and innovative with how we reinvest American Rescue Plan money during next week’s Special Session,” said Senator Tim Mathern (D-Fargo). Sen. Mathern’s bill to invest in infrastructure, paid family leave, and quality, accessible childcare will be considered by the North Dakota Senate Delayed Bills Committee during next week’s Special Session.
While both Senator Hoeven, and Senator Cramer ultimately supported the bill when it passed the Senate in August, Rep. Kelly Armstrong voted against it on Friday night.
- Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on resilience, climate change mitigation, equity, and safety for all users.
In North Dakota, there are 444 bridges and over 830 miles of highway in poor condition.
- Help connect every American to reliable high-speed internet. 15% of North Dakota households do not have an internet subscription, and 3% of North Dakotans live in areas where, under the FCC’s benchmark, there is no broadband infrastructure. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, North Dakota will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 19,800 North Dakotans who currently lack it. And, under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 159,000 or 21% of people in North Dakota will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families afford internet access.
- Prepare more of our infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, cyber attacks, and extreme weather events. From 2010 to 2020, North Dakota has experienced 7 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $5 billion in damages. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, North Dakota will expect to receive $21 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $11 million to protect against cyberattacks. North Dakotans will also benefit from the bill’s historic $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families.
- Deliver clean drinking water to every American and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes. Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, North Dakota will expect to receive $355 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.