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Napolitano Secures $39 Billion for California Highways & Transit, Plus Billions to Combat Drought and Modernize Nation's Water Infrastructure in Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

November 8, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - On Friday, November 5, 2021, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) voted for H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, sending the historic $1.2 trillion package to President Joe Biden's desk.

"From increasing safety on our highways, bridges, buses and rails, to modernizing vital wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, this bill will create good-paying jobs while supporting American manufacturing, restoring our global competitiveness, and safeguarding our environment," Napolitano said. "As the highest-ranking Californian on the Transportation Committee, I am very proud that this bill will provide $39 billion in transportation funding for California, including $30 billion for highway projects and $9 billion for transit. Additionally, as Chair of the Water Resources Subcommittee, many provisions I have written over the past several years, regarding water recycling, clean water infrastructure, and other innovative water projects, were included in this historic bill. I thank all of the cities, transportation agencies, and water agencies in my district and state for their valuable input and support to help meet the needs of our communities. It is time to start building the infrastructure of the future and build back better."

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create millions of good-paying union jobs with a once-in-a-century investment in rebuilding infrastructure in Southern California, including roads and bridges, transit, rail, clean drinking water and wastewater systems and high-speed broadband networks. The bill will repair and modernize crumbling and outdated infrastructure across the nation, ensuring all American communities have the infrastructure to succeed in the 21st Century economy and ending bottlenecks that add needless delays and costs for businesses bringing products to market and families traveling to school or work.

Together, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act are estimated to create an average of 2 million jobs each year over the next decade.

Napolitano, the highest-ranking California member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, secured the following provisions on behalf of her district, region, and state:

  • Provides $39 billion for California over the 5-year life of the bill
    • $30 billion in Highway funding
    • $9 billion in Transit funding
  • A Transit worker protection program that requires safety improvements in buses to prevent assault on bus driver and remove blind spots
    • Based on Napolitano’s previously introduced bill, the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act
  • Railway Crossing Improvements - Makes changes to federal law to make it easier for local and state governments to implement grade crossing safety projects and remove many of the burdens placed on these projects. It ensures railroad companies are a reliable and effective partner in installing vehicular underpasses or overpasses at rail crossings.
    • The Alameda Corridor East (ACE) grade separation project is the most successful grade crossing separation and safety project in the country, having spent over $1.7 billion on these efforts in the region.
  • Provides $3 billion for a new highway rail underpass construction program (known as a grade separation grant program). This was created after Napolitano had the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments testify earlier last year regarding the importance of highway rail safety and the aforementioned Alameda Corridor East (ACE) underpass construction program in the region.
  • Truck Driver Leasing Task Force - Creates a task force of the Departments of Transportation and Labor to focus federal regulators and policy experts on creating solutions to controversial leasing arrangements in the trucking industry that are especially found at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These illegal tactics by some trucking companies underpay truck drivers by forcing them into leasing arrangements that require them to work long hours without abiding by minimum wage laws, let alone reasonable pay and benefits. This task force will address these unfair practices against workers.
    • Based on Napolitano's previously introduced bill, the Port Truck Drivers' Bill of Rights
  • Allows states to use federal transportation funds to build suicide barriers on bridges. Studies show that the vast majority of suicides on bridges are because of a sudden impulse, and if a barrier were erected the person would not continue with a suicide attempt.
    • Based on the bill Napolitano coauthors, the Barriers to Suicide Act (H.R. 792).
  • Increases funding and amends the grant program for transit agencies to purchase electric buses and related infrastructure to make the program more effective and accessible. This will benefit Foothill Transit, LA Metro, and Proterra bus company in the San Gabriel Valley, who are all leaders on electric vehicle bus implementation.
    • Includes a program to provide bigger purchases for electric buses to stimulate the electric bus market.
  • Updates Infra Grant Program Requirements so that project selection is based on merit. Southern California transportation projects, such as the 57/60 confluence project and the ACE highway Rail grade crossing separation projects, are the highest-ranked projects in the country but until recently have consistently been overlooked because of politics. Thankfully, the Biden administration recently awarded $30 million to the 57/60 project.
    • Makes the grant requirements more associated with project quality and less by politics.
  • Provides over $8.3 billion in the Transportation Alternatives Program for Bicyclists and Pedestrians, a 60% increase in current funding. Many residents and cities in the San Gabriel Valley use this funding to improve bike trails and walkways that get residents to school, work, and the Metro station or bus stop.
  • Improves the Transit-Oriented Development Program and addresses homelessness in housing around transit stations.
    • The bill includes Napolitano's provision to improve housing around transit stations and consider housing persons experiencing homelessness at transit-oriented developments.
  • Increases overall funding for Transit Funding to $88 billion to reach more neighborhoods and give residents affordable, safe, and fast options for their commute.
     

As Chairwoman of the Transportation Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee and a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Napolitano also successfully included in H.R. 3684 the following provisions to deliver federal assistance to clean water projects, water supply projects, and environmental improvements and recreation:

  • $450 million for Napolitano's bill, H.R. 4099, authorizing large-scale water recycling projects, such as the Carson project and Hyperion project
  • $550 million for Napolitano's bill, H.R. 1015, for traditional water recycling projects through the Title XVI program that have constructed many treatment projects throughout the region in West Basin, the San Gabriel Basin, Los Angeles, and Orange County
  • $400 million for Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants to fund innovative water supply projects for local water supply
  • $1.15 billion for water storage that specifically includes language Napolitano authored to support groundwater storage and groundwater cleanup such as the San Gabriel and San Fernando Basin projects
  • $550 million for dam safety
  • $300 million for drought contingency planning on the Colorado River, which supports the bill Napolitano passed into law executing the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, agreed to by all Colorado River Basin states 2 years ago
  • $550 million for potable water supply projects in regions that have scarce access to potable water, such as the low-income and Latino rural communities of California
  • $55 billion for Clean Drinking Water to replace all of the nation's lead pipes and service lines, address dangerous PFAS contamination, and provide assistance to disadvantaged water communities.
  • $12 billion for the Clean Water SRF loan program for sanitation projects, such as stormwater and sewer projects that would help address the MS4 permit in Los Angeles County


The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the House by a vote of 228 to 206 and now goes to President Biden's desk to be signed into law.
 

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