Infrastructure Funds Impact Entire State
Every person, every region in state helped. Yet package divided state's congressional delegation.
It divided Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation – all Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed – but the new $1.2 trillion infrastructure package will touch every part of the state and every resident in one way or another.
Want safer, improved Wisconsin highways and rebuilt bridges? “Wisconsin could expect to receive approximately $1.1 billion in new funding over five years – an increase of about 25%,” Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said. “In addition, Wisconsin would receive an estimated $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs.”
“As auto manufacturers transition to producing more electric vehicles, this funding will better position Wisconsin to accommodate the increased need for electric vehicle infrastructure for motorists and businesses,” he added.
Want improved bus service in communities – Milwaukee County and Madison, especially? The infrastructure package includes $158 million more over the next five years for bus systems, according to a summary by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).
“That amounts to an increase of about 30% in the first year and about 2% each subsequent year,” Thompon said.
Want Broadband expanded to rural corners of Wisconsin? Internet access is so expensive, and yet so crucial to the economic viability of those regions, that governments must subsidize it. Wisconsin could get an additional $1.1 billion more in upcoming years to expand Broadband, the Fiscal Bureau reported. Wisconsin could also get $270 million more to subsidize what Broadband costs low-income residents, and $30 million to improve access to it.
Got a neighbor or family member whose income may qualify for weatherization programs to help their home conserve energy? The infrastructure package includes $132 million more in federal aid for weatherization programs, although it is not known over how many years that aid will be distributed. By comparison, federal weatherization aid totaled $21.8 million in 2019-20; utilities contributed $56.2 million more that year.
Worried about cybersecurity? The infrastructure package would give Wisconsin $19.1 million over four years to strengthen protective systems. It would also let Wisconsin utilities apply for separate cybersecurity grants.
Worried about the increasing number of homes and businesses whose drinking water shows levels of toxic chemicals? The infrastructure package authorizes about $210 million more in federal aid over five years for clean water and safe drinking water grants, which require some state matching dollars.
And regulating PFAs — the so-called “forever chemicals” found in northeast Wisconsin, in Dane County’s lakes and other parts of the state — would be funded by $95 million for “emerging contaminants.”
Is your home, or a neighbor’s home, one of the estimated 219,000 statewide with dangerous lead-lined pipes? Infrastructure funds will give Wisconsin about $255 million — or $51 million per year for five years — to replace those lead pipes, the Fiscal Bureau estimated..
But Republican Rep. Scott Fitzgerald voted no because the package “spends only a fraction of funds on fixing roads, bridges and major projects that the American people generally consider infrastructure.”
Democrats “need to reign in their out-of-control spending,” Fitzgerald added. “The American people cannot afford the debt of their socialist agenda.”
Republican Rep. Bryan Steil explained his no vote: “We should be making investments in our nation’s infrastructure, but through a smart, targeted approach that is focused on real infrastructure. Unfortunately, this bill is not paid for, will fund Green New Deal subsidies, and only directs a small portion of spending towards improving our roads and bridges.”
Oh, and one other part of the funding: if you’re one of the 16,000 Wisconsin drivers who hit a deer last year, the infrastructure package includes $350 million through 2026 to fund new ways to decrease the number of wildlife/vehicle crashes nationwide.
Bambi must be part of our infrastructure.
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- Senator Baldwin Supports New Initiative to Accelerate Lead Pipe Removal in Wisconsin - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Jan 27th, 2023
- Wisconsin Communities Act to Prevent Lead Poisoning - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Aug 17th, 2022
- DNR Releases Annual Drinking Water Report - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Aug 1st, 2022
- Lead Enforcement Ordinance brings consequences for landlords’ inaction - Ald. Jose Perez - Jul 28th, 2022
- City Hall: New Penalties For Landlords Who Don’t Fix Lead Hazards - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 26th, 2022
- Congresswoman Gwen Moore Secures Key Investments and Vital Resources for Milwaukee in House-passed FY 2023 Omnibus Funding Package - U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore - Jul 20th, 2022
- Biden’s Infrastructure Czar Visits City, Touts Lead Lateral Funding - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 13th, 2022
- $2 Million Grant Will Train Minorities, Help Replace Lead Laterals - Jeramey Jannene - May 31st, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Foreclosed Home Will House Those Displaced By Lead Abatement - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 12th, 2022
- City Hall: Lead Program Investigation Closed Without Criminal Charges - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 24th, 2022
Read more about Lead Crisis here
- Evers Wants $100 Million For PFAS, Will Republicans Back Proposal? - Danielle Kaeding - Jan 26th, 2023
- Gov. Evers Proposes More Than $106 Million Plan to Address PFAS Contamination Statewide - Gov. Tony Evers - Jan 24th, 2023
- Multiple State Agencies Responding To PFAS Contamination In Town Of Stella - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Jan 19th, 2023
- New PFAS Fish Consumption Advisory Issued For Lake Wausau And Stevens Point Flowage - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Jan 18th, 2023
- Fish Consumption Advisory Updated For Parts Of Yahara Chain In Dane County - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Jan 18th, 2023
- Study Finds High Level of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Great Lakes Fish - Danielle Kaeding - Jan 18th, 2023
- Conservation Groups Cite Damage From Prehn’s Time on Natural Resources Board - Henry Redman - Jan 8th, 2023
- Wisconsin Seeking Federal Help For Town With PFAS Contamination 170 Times Safe Levels - Danielle Kaeding - Dec 23rd, 2022
- Natural Resources Board Moves Forward with Groundwater Standards to Protect Wisconsin Communities from PFAS Contamination - Midwest Environmental Advocates - Dec 14th, 2022
- AG Kaul Calls on U.S. Senate to Pass legislation to Protect the Public from Highly Toxic ‘Forever’ Chemicals - Wisconsin Department of Justice - Nov 11th, 2022
Read more about PFAS Problem here