(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), highlighted how President Biden’s American Jobs Plan would help Washington state address longstanding infrastructure challenges and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and fairer than before.
The major infrastructure and jobs package, which President Biden released in March, would provide billions in funding to rebuild Washington state’s aging roads and bridges, modernize public transit, ensure safer drinking water, construct needed child care facilities and schools, invest in home and community based services to help older Americans and people with disabilities live independently, create good paying, union jobs, prepare for future pandemics, and more. The second half of President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal which will focus on “social infrastructure” issues, many of which of Senator Murray has led on during her tenure in Congress, is expected to be announced in the near future.
“President Biden has laid out a strong plan for rebuilding our economy by investing first and foremost in the workers, families, and communities who keep our country running—rather than in huge corporations,” Senator Murray said. “It’s clear that with American workers struggling through the most unequal economic crisis in our nation’s history, we’ve got to create more good jobs in areas where we know our country is overdue for investment—like clean energy, transportation, caregiving, affordable housing, and of course repairing our roads, bridges, waterways, ports and child care facilities—and repair and modernize aging infrastructure that costs people across Washington state time and money.”
See below some of the infrastructure challenges that Washington state faces and how the American Jobs Plan would help improve commutes, create jobs, expand internet access, and more in Washington state:
- ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Washington state there are 416 bridges and over 5,469 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 12.7% and on average, each driver pays $659 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 towards repairing roads and bridges.
- PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: People in Washington state who take public transportation spend an extra 72.9% of their time commuting and non-White households are 1.7 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 17% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.
- RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Washington state has experienced 10 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $5 billion in damages. The American Jobs Plan calls for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.
- DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Washington state’s drinking water infrastructure will require $11.7 billion 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, 487,000 renters in Washington are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The American Jobs Plan proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
- BROADBAND: 8.49% of people in Washington state live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 53.82% of people in Washington state live in areas where there is only one such internet provider. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. 8.8% of Washington state 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.
- CHILD CARE: In Washington state, 63% of residents live in a childcare desert. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s early learning facilities and build new ones in neighborhoods across Washington state and the country.
- K-12 SCHOOLS: In Washington state, there is an estimated $556 million gap in what K-12 schools need for school facilities repairs and maintenance improvements. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s K-12 schools and build new ones in neighborhoods across Washington state and the country, and includes portions of Senator Murray’s Clean School Bus Act to transition 20 percent of the nation’s school bus fleet to electric buses.
- MANUFACTURING: Manufacturers account for more than 11% of total output in Washington state, employing 298,000 workers, or 8.5% 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.
- CAREGIVING: In Washington state alone, over 140,000 people depend on home and community-based services. The American Jobs Plan will invest $400 billion to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs across the country.