BREAKING: Tester’s landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill passes Senate

0

The senator was part of a core of bipartisan negotiators; The senator assured that Montana priorities, such as funding for the Milk River project, about $2.82 billion for Montana highways, were included in the package

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today issued a statement following the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he and a core group of his colleagues negotiated with the White House. The bill will create well-paying jobs by making urgent investments in roads, bridges, high-speed internet, water, and more. from Montana.

“Today, a large, bipartisan Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass my landmark legislation that will make critical infrastructure investments in Montana and across the country. I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to negotiate this package because the people of Montana have lived off our grandparents’ infrastructure for decades which has hurt our ability to grow our economy This package will create jobs and help us maintain our competitive advantage over China by making one-time investments in our state’s roads, bridges, airports, water systems, and high-speed internet, all without raising taxes. That’s what Montanans expect from their leaders. elected officials – that we work across the aisle to provide real and lasting solutions that will have a positive impact on all who live in the last mei ltheir place, and I will continue to work until we get this bill made law.

Tester has secured a number of victories for Montana in legislation, including:

Transportation

  • About $2.82 billion for highways in Montana.
  • Montana will also receive about $225 million in additional funding for a new bridge initiative to replace and repair bridges in disrepair.
  • About $164 million for Montana over five years to strengthen transit infrastructure, an increase of about 30%
  • The share of bus funds earmarked for rural areas has been increased.
  • Funding for highway safety and motor carrier safety has been significantly increased, helping Montana save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
  • About $144 million for Montana airports
  • Part of the Agriculture and Livestock Carrier Safety Act of 2021 (HAULS), which reduces onerous hours of service requirements that can prevent agricultural and livestock haulers from doing their jobs safely security, and gives them the flexibility to ensure more of Montana’s world-class products can get to market.
  • Tester’s DRIVE Safe Act, which creates a pilot program that lifts federal regulations that prevent Montana truck drivers under 21 from transporting goods across state lines and establishes a new training initiative for drivers of truck from 18 to 20 years old.
  • Tester’s Right Track Act and Blocked Railroad Crossing Bill, which improve safety at rural railroad crossings and resolve cases of blocked railroad crossings in the United States
  • $15 million to study Amtrak’s long-distance passenger rail travel. This includes funding and authorizing the formation of task forces, such as the Greater North West Passenger Rail Task Force, to study and advocate for increased access to long-distance passenger rail travel. distances.

Water

  • $1 billion to complete all rural water projects licensed through the Bureau of Reclamation, including the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie, Rocky Boys/North Central and Musselshell rural water systems- Judith.
  • Roughly $198 million for Rocky Boys/North Central
  • About $56 million for Musselshell-Judith
  • Approximately $17 million for Fort Peck/Dry Prairie
  • Up to $100 million for the rehabilitation of the Milk River project.
  • $2.5 billion to complete all authorized settlements of Indian water rights, including settlements for the tribes of Montana.
  • Clarifies that state and local tax recovery funds from the U.S. Bailout may be used for state or federal cost sharing to rehabilitate Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure.
  • $3.5 billion for the Indian Health Service Sanitation Construction Program, meeting all outstanding program needs nationwide.
  • This includes approximately $40 million in water, sewer and sanitation projects for the Blackfeet Tribe.
  • $11.2 billion in grants to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned mining lands. Montana is expected to receive at least $20 million, more than six times the state’s annual federal distribution of abandoned mining land.

Broadband

  • $42.45 billion grant program for broadband deployment in areas of the country that do not have access to Internet service. The program will be distributed as follows:
  • $4.2 billion of which is earmarked for high-cost and geographically challenging areas where it is particularly difficult and expensive to deploy broadband infrastructure.
  • Allocation of $100 million to each state distributed during the planning and proposal phase. Up to $5 million in funding to support state broadband office operations, including planning, coordination, and grant administration.
  • Additional funding allocated to each state using a formula based on the total unserved population of that state.
  • $2 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity program, which will assist tribal entities with broadband deployment, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
  • $2 billion to US Department of Agriculture programs, which provide loans and grants to finance the deployment and maintenance of broadband services in rural areas.
  • $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which builds on the current Emergency Broadband (EBB) Benefits Program by expanding eligibility and including safeguards to protect consumers to prevent upselling. As of August 2, 2021, 6,181 households in Montana have signed up for this program to get help with their internet bills.
  • Includes additional consumer protection provisions that protect against digital redlining and price gouging.
  • Senator Tester has fought to ensure that participating households can apply the benefit to any internet service plan they choose.
  • The Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Development Act, which will help meet the labor needs of the telecommunications industry to increase the human resources necessary for the effective and efficient deployment of the infrastructure in a large band.

border security

  • $3.85 billion for land ports of entry to upgrade and secure the northern and southern border.

Fire

  • Tester-Moran bill to extend deadlines for filing IRS tax returns in fire management assistance grants for areas after large fires
  • $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk, including:
  • $500 million for Forest Service Community Advocacy Grants to support community-led efforts to improve community wildfire preparedness, plan actions, and clear vegetation.
  • $500 million for prescribed fires to reduce fuel loads and major fire hazard.
  • $500 million for mechanical thinning and timber harvesting to promote fire resistant stands
  • $500 million to develop fire checkpoints, including creating firewalls
  • $200 million to clear flammable vegetation for the creation of biochar or innovative wood products, with a note for agencies to consider working with youth and conservation bodies, and engaging with tribes and veterans .
  • $200 million for post-fire restoration activities
  • $100 million for the Interior and Forest Service to conduct staff training and planning work to support wildland and vegetation fire handling operations
  • $100 million for Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects
  • $20 million for the Joint Fire Science program (which supports research at UM and MSU)
  • Includes the bipartisan REPLANT Act which frees up additional Forest Service funds for reforestation activities and provides $450 million to rehabilitate and restore burned areas.

Resilience (flood, drought)

  • $7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities to improve flood mitigation
  • $350 million of that amount for Corps CAP funding, which includes Section 205 seawall projects. Senator Tester secured a $100 million increase for the CAP program and secured a provision for the corps to waive cost-sharing requirements for economically disadvantaged communities.
  • $3.5 billion for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
  • $1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. It is a pre-disaster mitigation program, supporting states, local communities, tribes and territories who undertake risk mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face in the event of a disaster and of natural hazard.
  • $2.2 billion for the Aging Infrastructure Account, including the Bureau of Reclamation for water infrastructure projects in the West that need major upgrades or replacements
  • $500 million for the Western Area Power Administration’s power purchase and transmission operations.

The legislation is now going to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Last week, Senator Tester took to the floor in the Senate to urge his colleagues to quickly pass the bipartisan package. And last month, after months of negotiations, Tester and the bipartisan group of nine other senators traveled to the White House to announce that they had reached agreement on the framework of a landmark bipartisan infrastructure package for create well-paying jobs by doing urgently-needed investment in roads, bridges, broadband, water, etc. from Montana.

Share.

Comments are closed.