Here’s what California stands to gain from Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

Evan Vucci
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·3 min read
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  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
  • Gavin Newsom
    Gavin Newsom
    Governor of California

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Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Congress for passing President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Friday night, calling it a “once-in-a-generation investment” which will help to create jobs and modernize California’s transportation systems.

Newsom expect billions of dollars in additional federal funding under the bill, including another $5.8 billion over five years that will help fix California highways, which are rated among the nation’s worst. That money comes in addition to the $3 billion to $4 billion California usually gets for such programs every year.

The bill also adds significant investments in infrastructure for electric vehicles, broadband, wildfire protection, drinking water and airports.

According to Newsom’s office, California expects to receive:

  • $25.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.

  • $9.45 billion over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.

  • $384 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network in the state.

  • A minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state.

  • $84 million over five years to protect against wildfires.

  • $40 million to protect against cyber attacks.

  • $3.5 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure clean, safe drinking water for California communities.

  • $1.5 billion for infrastructure development for airports over five years.

“President Biden understands the need to build a climate-resilient future, and the infrastructure package passed by Congress builds on California’s unprecedented investments to maintain and modernize the state,” Newsom said in a statement.

“This historic infrastructure package stands to accelerate investments in our clean transportation infrastructure, help mitigate some of the worst impacts of climate change and accelerate new projects that will create thousands of jobs,” he said.

The bill was passed late Friday after weeks of fraught negotiations between the White House, and Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. It is now heads to Biden’s desk for signing.

While California Democrats celebrated the passage of the bill, Republicans criticized the its price tag and some of the projects that could benefit from it.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Huntington Beach, along with the other 10 Republican members who represent California, voted against the bill.

Steel, in a tweet following the passage, criticized the bill for potentially funneling money to the state’s “failed high-speed rail project” and creating a “vehicle miles traveled tax.”

“Make no mistake, on top of the 40% increase in gas prices, this is a double tax & as a tax fighter, I cannot support legislation that raises costs on American families who are already paying record-high prices & even higher taxes,” Steel said on Twitter.

The infrastructure bill sets aside $66 billion for rail projects. California’s high-speed rail project, a long delayed endeavor with estimated costs approaching $100 billion, could benefit from the bill. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg earlier this year said the California project would have to apply for new federal funding.

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