Congress passes $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill: Here’s what California cities can expect

Nov 10, 2021

After months of negotiation, Congress sent the massive $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to President Joe Biden for his signature. The Act includes $550 billion in new federal investments and will add an estimated two million jobs per year to the national economy. The legislation, which stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives after its passage in the Senate during the summer, ultimately passed with bipartisan support in both chambers.

Broadly speaking, the bill provides funding for the nation’s roads, bridges, and public transportation infrastructure, with a strong focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, and equity. It also contains funding for a network of electric vehicle chargers, broadband internet, cybersecurity, clean water, and airports.

For years, California cities have called on the federal government to invest in local infrastructure. Although more funding is needed to fully repair the state’s infrastructure, the measure will make significant investments in California, including:

  • $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 and the opportunity to apply for $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging
  • A minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state
  • $84 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $40 million to protect against cyberattacks
  • $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

More information about the bill’s impact on California can be found in a fact sheet prepared by the White House.

Another bill working its way through Congress could provide additional support for cities. The Build Back Better Act includes nearly $2 trillion in proposed funding for workforce development, climate resiliency, affordable housing, and other key city priorities. Negotiations on the Build Back Better Act are ongoing and an exact timeline for the bill’s vote is still unclear.