Senate votes to proceed to debate on bill which will help Utah rebuild its roads, mitigate drought conditions,fulfill critical water needs, and prepare for and respond to wildfires
The Senate today voted to proceed to debate on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, bipartisan infrastructure legislation negotiated by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and his colleagues, which would help Utah rebuild its roads, mitigate drought conditions, fulfill critical water needs, and prepare for and respond to wildfires. This historic investment is fully paid for and will not increase taxes.
“Several months ago, a group of five Republicans and five Democrats came together to see if we could find a way to find common ground on a true infrastructure bill,” Senator Romney said. “Today’s vote is the culmination of those many months of work, and it represents the way that Washington should work and the way America expects us to work.
“I’m proud to have helped negotiate this bill which includes funding that will help Utah rebuild its roads, mitigate drought conditions, fulfill critical water needs, and prepare for and respond to wildfires. It also includes funding to provide water to the nearly half of Navajo Nation in Utah who don’t have running water and expand broadband into rural Utah,” Romney continued. “This is legislation which represents a historic investment that delivers for Utah—without raising taxes and adding to the national debt.”
Authorizes $3 Billion for Utah’s Roads and Highways
Utah has 2,064 miles of roads in poor condition. Commute times are up 7.2% in the state since 2011 and bad roads cost drivers an average of $709 per year in repair. This bipartisan legislation authorizes roughly $3 billion in highway funding for Utah over five years to construct, rebuild, and maintain its roads and highways.
Includes key legislative priorities championed by Senator Romney:
Smart Intersections Act: Provides resources to state, local, and tribal governments to improve the functioning of their traffic signals;
Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act: Establishes a commission to study and recommend fire prevention, mitigation, management, and rehabilitation policies for forests and grasslands;
Secures additional funding for wildfire mitigation and recovery, including hazardous fuel removal, burned area recovery, prescribed fires, shared stewardship contracts and agreements, and more;
$50 million for Central Utah Project Completion Act: Provides water for municipal use, mitigation, hydroelectric power, fish and wildlife, and conservation;
$500 million for the Western Area Power Administration for drought-related shortfalls;
$300 million to fund outstanding Emergency Watershed Program needs for post-fire recovery and wildfire mitigation;
$100 million for drought contingency plan funding;
$1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities (BRIC) program for pre-disaster mitigation, including wildfire and drought projects;
$214 million to fully fund the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement: Legislation to bring running water to the 40% of Navajo Nation in Utah who lack it; and
$1.7 billion for the construction and improvement of Indian Health Services sanitation facilities.
Delivers $219 million to Utah for water revolving funds
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would authorize roughly $219 million over five years for the Beehive State through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program & Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Invests in Utah’s Airports
In July, the FAA announced Utah airports received over $1.8 million in federal grants through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $25 billion for airport improvement projects such as expansions, installations, assisting with planning, rebuilding runways, improving lighting and runways, and air navigation facilities.
Provides $65 billion to expand broadband access across the country
Builds on Senator Romney’s efforts to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities in Utah.
Eliminates federal red tape by reforming the permitting process to speed construction projects
Builds on the Federal Permitting Council’s efforts to shortening the government approval process for large infrastructure projects by bringing relevant agencies together to reduce inefficiencies.
Provides $40 billion in funding for bridge construction, maintenance, and repair
Of that, $30 billion will be apportioned by formula to ensure bridges in every state are provided with needed resources. Utah currently has 62 bridges classified as structurally deficient.