Several local leaders support bipartisan infrastructure bill

Several local leaders have supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill in Congress, which could allocate $3.5 trillion nationally..

Here’s what some of the local leaders have said about the proposed bill, which is estimated to bring about $3.8 billion to Kansas and create 2 million jobs nationwide.

“Our community and state would benefit significantly from improvements provided under the existing federal infrastructure bill, allowing us to undertake much needed repairs to roads, bridges, and other critical public works projects that improve the overall quality of life for our residents. Coupled with expanding internet access and improving public transit that helps workers get to their jobs, among other things, the infrastructure bill will help stimulate and grow the local economy – benefitting every part of our community,” said Mayor David Alvey of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, Kansas.

“From clean drinking water to safe roads to high-speed internet, infrastructure is an undeniably important part of our everyday lives and our local economy. The bipartisan infrastructure bill would ensure that our communities in Kansas have access to opportunity here at home and would set the foundation for future growth. We call on Congress to pass this important bill,” said Joab Ortiz, chairman of the board of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The U.S. Senate has acted, and now it’s time for the House of Representatives to do the same: pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. A strong regional transportation system is one of the KC Chamber’s strategic priorities. We believe the legislation is bold and comprehensive and will benefit the Kansas City region and its roads, highways, water and energy infrastructure, and access to broadband services. All are vital to our region and the country’s ability to stay competitive and connected across state lines and around the globe. The KC Chamber believes this bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide a critical boost to our bistate region and keep America thriving and globally competitive for years to come,” said Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

“The historic bipartisan infrastructure deal will make life better for millions of Kansas residents beyond just bringing long-overdue repairs to our infrastructure. Aging cast iron and ductile iron water mains are leaking at an alarming rate. Water mains are deteriorating away from corrosion caused by the environment they are buried in. With 21% of our customers living below poverty, it is already difficult to control the costs for our customer base in a community like Wyandotte County. I urge the U.S. House to pass this legislation, and I thank Rep. Davids for her work to bring these investments to our community,” said William A. Johnson, general manager of the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities.

“Passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill is vital to the Kansas City region and the economy of the entire Midwest. Reinvesting in our long-neglected inland waterways provides much needed capacity expansion for multimodal commerce. Together with needed rail and highway improvements, we can assure efficient and stable access to the global marketplace. Passage of this bill will help entities like Port KC invest in modern, sustainable transportation infrastructure which will ensure the region’s competitiveness, reduce transportation bottlenecks and allow us to reinvest in long-neglected areas,” said Jon Stephens, president and CEO of PortKC.

“Modern, well-maintained transportation, water, broadband and power systems are all critical to the safety, health and shared prosperity of the Kansas City region. MARC strongly supports timely passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide historic federal investment in these essential priorities,” said David A. Warm, executive director of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).

“In my entire working career, I have never seen a bill that has something for all parties concerned. It will decrease the unemployment across the United States and bring back higher paying jobs at one of the lowest times in history due to the Covid virus. It brings back hope for the working-class people. We all need a shot in the arm to boost our level of confidence back to a normal life. This bill will provide more jobs across the board—blue-collar and white-collar jobs.

“We have been on hold to get all the infrastructure fixed. Our bridges and our roads are in the worse shape ever. Just in LiUNA, it will provide 30% more workers alone. Now is the time to put party affiliations aside and provide Americans an opportunity to get back to work and provide for their families. Please support the bill.” said Mike Kane, public affairs director of Laborers’ Local 1290.

“This bipartisan infrastructure bill positions our state and the United States for the 21st century, by improving our airports ($109 million for Kansas), access to reliable high-speed internet (15% of Kansas households do not have an internet subscription), improvements in healthy transportation options (that people of color disproportionately depend on), and finally, addresses a climate and manufacturing crisis that could be turned around. The Kansas AFL-CIO urges support as the U.S. House considers the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Andy Sanchez, executive secretary-treasurer of the Kansas AFL-CIO.

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill will put millions of Americans to work each year while investing much-needed dollars into our transportation systems, many of which converge in the Kansas City area. And with comprehensive Buy America provisions, not only will the people working on these infrastructure projects benefit, but the businesses and workers who make the materials will as well. We are glad to see Rep. Sharice Davids support this bill to bring jobs home to our area and we urge its passage,” said Ralph Stubbs, president of Teamsters 41 – Kansas City.

“Kansas students will be safer on their ride to school, healthier at home and at school, and will have better access to learning because of Representative Sharice Davids’ leadership in Congress. The Senate’s recently passed infrastructure bill promises to put tax-payer dollars where they’re needed most and where they will do the most good, in our communities.

“Every teacher knows that there are some basic necessities kids need in order to learn every day. Kids learn best when they can get to school on safe, clean-energy buses that run on improved roadways. Kids learn best when their drinking water and the air they breathe at recess and in their community are clean. Kids learn best when they have equal access to resources like broadband internet. This legislation helps to provide needed funding for many of the basic necessities of learning and strengthens many others.

“No matter their zip code, Kansas families will benefit from placing dollars back into our neighborhoods and towns and promises to make life better for Kansas citizens. With so many working Kansans struggling to overcome the myriad impacts of a global pandemic, we’re fortunate to have a Congresswoman who is willing to fight for what is needed and support this bipartisan bill so that every Kansas student can learn and grow,” said Sherri Schwanz, Kansas NEA president.

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