The Biden administration pointed to Rhode Island’s infrastructure receiving a C- grade on its Infrastructure Report Card.
The highest grade went to Utah, which rated a C-plus. The lowest grade, D-minus, went to Puerto Rico.
Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, public transportation, drinking water, housing, broadband, clean energy, child care, veterans and seniors would all see federal investment under President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package, the White House claimed Monday.
President Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” would also provide money for resilient infrastructure, manufacturing and home energy according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.
“For decades, infrastructure in Rhode Island has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” according to the fact sheet. “The need for action is clear.”
American Jobs Plan: The Need for Action in Rhode Island
ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Rhode Island there are 148 bridges and over 860 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.2% in Rhode Island and on average, each driver pays $845 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations’ transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Rhode Islanders who take public transportation spend an extra 120.1% of their time commuting and non-White households are 2.4 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 27% of trains and other transit vehicles are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.
RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Rhode Island has experienced 11 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $2 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.
DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Rhode Island’s drinking water infrastructure will require $833 million in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
HOUSING: In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 73,000 renters in Rhode Island are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The President proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
BROADBAND: More than 1.4% of Rhode Islanders live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 10.5% of Rhode Islanders live in areas where there is only one such provider. Moreover, even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. Over 12% of Rhode Island households do not have an internet subscription. The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America.
CAREGIVING: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities are in need of home and community-based services. The President’s plan will invest $400 billion to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.
CHILD CARE: In Rhode Island, there is an estimated $241 million in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements and 47% of residents live in a child care desert. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities and build new ones in neighborhoods across Rhode Island and the country.
MANUFACTURING: Manufacturers account for more than 8.7% of total output in Rhode Island, employing 39,000 workers, or 7.8% of the state’s workforce. The American Jobs Plan will invest $300 billion to retool and revitalize American manufacturers, including providing incentives for manufacturers to invest in innovative energy projects in coal communities.
HOME ENERGY: In Rhode Island, an average low-income family spends 8-10% of their income on home energy costs forcing tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine or other essentials. The American Jobs Plan will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient through a historic investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program, a new Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance building improvements, and expanded tax credits to support home energy upgrades.
CLEAN ENERGY JOBS: Rhode Island has outsized potential for innovative energy technologies including carbon capture and sequestration and geothermal energy generation, that create good paying union jobs. As of 2019, there were 16,429 Rhode Islanders working in clean energy, and the American Jobs Plan invests in building that industry through a reformed and expended Section 45Q tax credit and extending renewable energy tax credits.
VETERANS HEALTH: Rhode Island is home to over 63,250 veterans, 7.97% of who are women and 55% who are over the age of 65. The President is calling for $18 billion to improve the infrastructure of VA health care facilities to ensure the delivery of world-class, state of the art care to veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. This includes improvements to ensure appropriate care for women and older veterans.
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