November 19, 2021
HEADLINES: WIDESPREAD SUPPORT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
Topeka, KS — This week, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, delivering nearly $4 billion in investments for Kansas. Democratic Representative Sharice Davids was the sole member of Kansas’ delegation to vote for the bipartisan bill, while all five of Kansas’ Republican Congressmen opposed it. The massive investment will be used to upgrade roads and bridges, expand public transit, improve broadband access, deliver clean drinking water and more.
Across the state, various groups and individuals ranging from political and industry leaders to citizens praised the bill. Here are some of the headlines Kansans read as the once-in-a-generation bill was passed and signed:
Kansas Reflector: Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’
“President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives.” [11/15/2021]
“Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids worked to make the bill a reality… ‘Every step of the way, as we worked across the aisle to pass infrastructure legislation that creates good-paying jobs, makes strides against climate change, and sets the foundation for long-term growth, I pushed to make sure the Kansas Third was a part of the conversation,’ Davids said. ‘Signing this bill into law today is a big step—but it is not the final step. I’m going to continue advocating for these funds to come to our community.’” [11/15/2021]
The Topeka Capital Journal: President Joe Biden’s signature infrastructure package is now law. What does it mean for Kansas?
“The legislation is set to have a major impact on Kansas. While billions will flow to overhaul the state’s roads and bridges, funds will also be set aside for everything from rural broadband to public transit. ‘It fixes a great number of issues,’ Curtis Sneden, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce president, said earlier this year. ‘This package represents the exact type of investment we need to be making now if we are going to get to the future we know it is waiting for us.’” [11/9/2021]
“Bridgette Williams, of the Heavy Constructors Association, said there are about 30,000 construction workers in the Kansas City area. This funding will put them to work on billions of dollars worth of backlogged projects. Beyond the construction industry, Williams believes this funding will have a social impact by providing new infrastructure to areas in need. Whether it’s new roads or new fiber internet connections, Williams said the funding creates a rising tide that will lift all boats.” [11/17/2021]
“Rail service returning to Wichita is now a possibility since President Biden signed the massive infrastructure bill. Leaders in Kansas are hoping it will happen, as the state will get $272 million dollars for public transportation.” [11/16/2021]
“The money given to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will go toward predominantly four things: better roads, electric vehicles, upgrades to KCATA headquarters and most importantly a bi-state, fast-transit bus route.. ‘All these infrastructure needs that we haven’t been able to tackle in a long time, but now that we have put such a priority on public transit and the things around public transit, these are the things that we can do,’ Makinen said.” [11/17/2021]
“A new infrastructure bill will allow the state to expand broadband internet into rural communities. $3.4 billion dollars will be coming to Kansas as part of the president’s infrastructure bill. The majority of which will be going to roads, but 100 million will be going to broadband expansion, something Tiya Tonn is incredibly excited about. ‘Just giving that opportunity. So the rural communities are on a level playing field with the rest of the world.'” [11/9/2021]