California Leaders: How Biden's Infrastructure Bill Impacts the State

Tens of billions of dollars for public transportation, wildfire prevention, water and power infrastructure

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California Sen. Alex Padilla, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and local dignitaries were in San Jose Tuesday morning to discuss the recently passed infrastructure bill and how it would impact the state and the Bay Area.

The state is getting billions of dollars for a number of infrastructure projects that affect most Californians, from the roads they drive on to the water they drink.

With San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo also among the speakers, the news conference at Diridon Station provided a breakdown of what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act means to California and the Bay Area.

Padilla said it was fitting the backdrop for the event was Diridon Station, which he said would become "Grand Central West."

"The bill includes $66 billion in passenger and freight rail spending to support improvements at stations just like this," he said. "It includes $8 billion … to help fund the BART Silicon Valley extension; we've been waiting on that one for a while. This is the largest ever federal investment in public transportation and a critical step towards a more sustainable future."

California will receive more than $25 billion to repair roads and highways and over $600 million to prepare transportation systems for extreme weather, drought and wildfires, Padilla said.

Here's a breakdown of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds California will receive:

  • $9.5 billion for public transportation
  • $47.2 billion for roads, bridges and ports
  • $11.3 billion for water supply and water infrastructure
  • $3.3 billion for wildfire prevention
  • $5.5 billion for power infrastructure

With the passage of the infrastructure bill, sights are now set on President Biden's Build Back Better bill, which Lofgren said will not be funded by "regular Joes."

"The Build Back Better bill, which is next, actually more than pays for itself not by taxing middle class people, but by going after where the money is," Lofgren said. "If you look at taxing corporations, there are major corporations that made a gazillion dollars and paid no taxes whatsoever."

A vote on the Build Back Better bill could come as early as Nov. 15.

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