North Carolina could see billions of dollars for bridges, public transportation, broadband internet, child care and transforming the state’s manufacturing industry in the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal.
The White House released state-by-state details on the $2.3 trillion plan, ahead of a meeting with lawmakers set for Monday afternoon.
The Biden administration hopes the breakdown by state will help convince Republicans and Democrats to back the bill, which would be funded by increasing the corporate tax rate, increasing IRS enforcement and other changes.
The proposal will likely have a tough time with Republicans in the Senate who are already criticizing the plan. Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., called the plan “a massive social welfare spending program,” according to the Associated Press.
North Carolina Democrat Rep. David Price gave his support to the proposal when President Joe Biden unveiled the plan two weeks ago.
“This job-creating plan expands opportunity with investments in rural broadband, affordable housing, school construction, clean energy, and childcare – in addition to the urgently needed funding for our crumbling infrastructure including roads, bridges, airports, seaports, rail, and public transit systems,” Price said in a statement.
Here’s what the proposal, dubbed The American Jobs Plan, could include for North Carolina:
Roads and bridges: “In North Carolina there are 1,460 bridges and over 3,116 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 10.7% in North Carolina and on average, each driver pays $500 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair,” according to the Biden administration. The plan includes more than $600 billion nationally for transportation infrastructure projects, with $115 billion of that going to repairing roads and bridges.
The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations' transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
Public transportation: The infrastructure plan includes $85 billion for improving public transit nationally, including trains and buses. “North Carolinians who take public transportation spend an extra 59.9% of their time commuting and non-White households are 3.4 times more likely to commute via public transportation,” according to the administration.
The funding could include money to complete the planned high-speed rail line from Richmond to Raleigh, according to Price's office.
Resilient infrastructure: The proposal includes $50 billion to help communities around the country prepare and recover from extreme weather. According to the plan, “From 2010 to 2020, North Carolina has experienced 42 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $50 billion in damages.”
Drinking water: “Over the next 20 years, North Carolina’s drinking water infrastructure will require$16.8 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities,” the Biden administration says.
Housing: The proposal would dedicate $200 billion to affordable housing and increasing the supply of available housing nationwide. The Biden administration says 632,000 renters in North Carolina spend more than 30% of their income on rent, “in part due to a lack of available and affordable housing.”
Broadband: More than 6% of people in North Carolina live in areas without broadband access, a digital divide that came into focus for many lawmakers during the coronavirus pandemic, the White House says. More than half of the state only has one broadband provider, the Biden administration says, and 14% of households in North Carolina do not have an internet subscription. “The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America,” according to the plan.
Child care: “In North Carolina, there is an estimated $660 million gap in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements and 44% of residents live in a childcare desert,” the White House says. The plan calls for building new schools and early learning facilities across the country.
Manufacturing: More than 10% of North Carolina’s workforce is in manufacturing, with about 473,000 employees. “The American Job’s Plan will invest $300 billion to retool and revitalize American manufacturers, including providing incentives for manufacturers to invest in innovative energy projects,” the administration says.
Clean energy jobs: There were 112,720 people in North Carolina working in clean energy jobs in 2019, according to the Biden administration. The proposal aims to invest in “more good paying union jobs advancing clean energy production by extending and expanding tax credits for clean energy generation, carbon capture and sequestration and clean energy manufacturing.”
Home energy: The proposal includes investments to upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient. According to the White House, low-income families in North Carolina spend on average 8 to 10% on home energy costs.
Veteran health care: The White House proposal has $18 billion to improve Veterans Affairs health care facilities. There are more than 700,000 veterans in North Carolina, including more than 40% who are over 65 years old and more than 11% who are women.