Infrastructure Bill – Commissioner Khadijah Wants Greenlight for Fulton County

Commissioner Khadijah hails passage of $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure bill, wants projects expedited in Fulton County

 Statement of Fulton County Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman

“The passage of President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by the Senate with the support of 19 Republicans, is welcomed news to the people of Fulton County. Notwithstanding the ex-president berating all who supported this investment, passage of this bill shows that governing in a bipartisan spirit—to promote commonsense programs and projects—works, despite your party or label.

I echo President Biden who stated: “There are no Republican bridges or Democratic roads … This is about us doing the real hard work of governing; it’s about democracy delivering for the people.”

The package contains $550 billion in entirely new investments, including money for electric car charging stations and zero-emission school buses. The spending is mostly paid for—without raising taxes. It is widely expected to create a lot of jobs.

I say emphatically that the one-million people who call Fulton County home deserve their fair share of these dollars and I fully expect that our federal representatives will work to make that happen. At the County level, I will continue to press my colleagues to collaborate with our partners in the public and private sectors on all of this.

We must ensure that no broken bridge goes unfixed, no dirty water goes uncleaned, and that no pothole goes unfilled. Also, it is imperative, as we have learned as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, that no one (especially our black-and-brown and disadvantaged communities) is left on “the side of the road” while others enjoy easy and full access to the information superhighway.

So now, the focus turns to the $3.5 trillion Democratic proposal to provide a safety net for “human infrastructure.” Early this morning, after a marathon session overnight, the Senate also passed a budget resolution to begin the process to get that broader package passed this fall. The $3.5 trillion package would pay for new family, health, and education programs, among other critical priorities. I fully support this effort and urge its quick passage as well.”

Here’s a breakdown of some of what’s in the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate that will impact Fulton County:

ROADS AND BRIDGES

$110 billion to repair dilapidated highways, bridges, and roads. Fulton County will benefit from these

PUBLIC TRANSIT

$39 billion for public transit would expand transportation systems, such as MARTA, and improve accessibility for people with disabilities, and provide dollars to buy zero-emission and low-emission buses.

PASSENGER AND FREIGHT RAIL

$66 billion to improve Amtrak maintenance and service. Fulton is home to a major Amtrak station which plays a role in the local economy.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

$7.5 billion is slated for electric vehicle charging stations, which the Biden administration says are critical to accelerating the use of electric vehicles to curb climate change. It would also provide $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses and hybrids, reducing reliance on school buses that run on diesel fuel.

INTERNET ACCESS

$65 billion is allocated for broadband access would aim to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families, and tribal communities. The dollars would be made available through grants to states and other jurisdictions.

AIRPORTS

$25 billion to improve runways, gates, and taxiways at airports and to improve terminals. It would also improve aging infrastructure at air traffic control towers. Fulton’s own “Charlie Brown” Executive Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson stands to benefit from these funds.

WATER AND WASTEWATER

$55 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure, to improve the safety of the nation’s drinking water. Principally, $15 billion is slated to replace lead pipes and $10 billion to address water contamination.

The five-year spending package is to be paid for by tapping $210 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief money, $53 billion in unused unemployment insurance aid, along with other sources of money and government revenue from petroleum reserve sales and broadband-type utility auctions.

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