Rep. Adams: The American Jobs Plan Will Address North Carolina’s Urgent Infrastructure Needs
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, advocating for the 12th District’s priorities in the forthcoming American Jobs Plan.
“We know that our light rail works,” said Congresswoman Adams in her testimony. “That’s why we’re looking to fund its expansion: we want to connect our northern towns, to Uptown Charlotte, to the Charlotte Douglas airport. So, as you work to draft a surface transportation reauthorization and infrastructure package, I strongly encourage you to increase the authorized funding for the Capital Investment Grant program.”
Additionally, Congresswoman Adams also highlighted a new White House fact sheet which outlines the urgent imperative to address critical infrastructure needs in North Carolina. The fact sheet details the number of bridges and miles of road in each state in poor condition, the percentage of households without access to broadband, the billions of dollars required for water infrastructure, and more. These pressing needs underscore the importance of the American Jobs Plan, which will make historic investments in improving the nation’s infrastructure and put millions of people back to work.
“North Carolina needs a historic investment infrastructure – from our roads and bridges to our drinking water and broadband to our schools and long-term care facilities,” said Congresswoman Adams. “We have the second-largest state-maintained highway network in the country. We have more four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities than any other state, and they need capital funding to make up for years of neglect from the federal and state government. To unlock our state’s full economic potential, we need to build up the systems and structures that support our modern economy. The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create millions of good-paying jobs while bringing our infrastructure into the 21st century.”
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, “while the nation’s infrastructure earned a C- in the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, North Carolina faces infrastructure challenges of its own.” North Carolina’s infrastructure facing many deficiencies that require immediate attention. Below are key statistics on the condition of the infrastructure in our state:
- 14% of roads – over 3,116 miles of highway – are in poor condition and approximately 1,711 structurally deficient bridges are in need of repair.
- 15% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state that are past their useful life.
- 6.5% percentage of households are without access to broadband.
- 632,000 renters pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent due to shortages in affordable housing units
- North Carolina needs $16.8 billion in modernization spending to ensure safe drinking water
- 44% of families have few or no childcare options in their communities, preventing parents from joining the workforce
- 700,000 veterans in North Carolina rely on VA facilities, which have been chronically underfunded – leading to longer waits and lower quality care
- An average low-income family in North Carolina currently pays 8-10% of their income toward energy bills because their home has not been sufficiently weatherized
- North Carolina has experienced 42 extreme weather events in the past decade, which will only increase in frequency and severity due to the climate crisis.
In Congress, Rep. Adams has prioritized Higher Education, Housing, and Health Care. The American Jobs Plan will:
- Invest in higher education to ensure communities of color can excel in jobs in the technologies of the future.
- President Biden will invest $20 billion in upgrading research infrastructure and laboratories at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)and other Minority Serving Institutions, including the creation of a new national lab focused on climate that will be affiliated with an HBCU.
- President Biden’s plan makes a $10 billion R&D investment at HBCUs and other MSIs
- Deliver affordable housing to communities of color who are most burdened by the affordable housing crisis.
- President Biden’s plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.
- The plan will also mitigate exclusionary zoning policies that entrench residential segregation.
- Strengthen our health infrastructure for our elders, persons with disabilities, and caregivers.
- President Biden’s plan will put $400 billion towards expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and loved ones with disabilities.
- The plan will also invest in caregivers, who are disproportionately women of color and address racial disparities in access to home- and community-based care.
Led by President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the American Jobs Plan targets these infrastructure needs and more. This initiative is designed to reenergize our stagnant economy as we begin to recover from the pandemic and the recession, as well as lay the foundation for future economic growth and ensure our nation is competitive in the global economy for decades to come.
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