Bipartisan legislation creates Wisconsin jobs and rebuilds Badger State infrastructure
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which makes a historic investment to create jobs and rebuild America’s infrastructure. In August, the Senate passed the bipartisan legislation 69-30 with Baldwin’s support, and it now heads to President Biden to be signed into law.
“I voted for this bipartisan legislation because it will create good paying jobs and put Wisconsin to work fixing our roads and bridges, rebuilding our water infrastructure, and expanding access to affordable and reliable high speed broadband for Wisconsin families, students, small businesses, and farmers. This bipartisan legislation makes a major federal investment to help local communities replace dangerous lead service lines and address PFAS chemicals so that we provide safe and clean drinking water to people across our state. Wisconsin will receive support to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure so we are better prepared for the impacts of climate change and the next extreme weather events. With this legislation, we are also taking a big step forward in creating more clean energy jobs and a renewable energy economy that takes on the climate crisis. I am especially proud of working across party lines to make sure we included strong Buy American standards in this bipartisan legislation because when we rebuild our infrastructure we need to support American workers, manufacturers and businesses. Passing this bipartisan legislation will help build a stronger economy and make a real difference in the lives of Wisconsin working families. I am proud to stand on the side of delivering results for Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin.
Wisconsin transportation leaders and local officials have previously announced their support for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and praised Senator Baldwin for her work on passing the bipartisan legislation.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be a tremendous help to our efforts to bring Wisconsin’s transportation system into the 21st century,” said Craig Thompson, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “Along with accelerating the improvement of roads and bridges all over the state, the bill will enable us to make greater investments in our transit systems, support for electric vehicles, and improvements in highway safety. This is truly an investment in improving the quality of life for all the people of Wisconsin. We thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership and support on this vital infrastructure package.”
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act not only provides increased federal support for transportation in Wisconsin, but also the long-term market certainty that contractors need to make their own investments in hiring and training workers, equipment purchases and other capital facilities,” said Patrick Goss, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association. “The impact will be better roads and bridges, a stronger overall economy and safer travel for all of Wisconsin. I want to personally thank Senator Baldwin and the Senators on both sides of the aisle who supported this important initiative.”
“The passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill is a win for Wisconsin Laborers and for all working families,” said John Schmitt, President and Business Manager of Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council. “This is a once in a generation investment for Wisconsin’s infrastructure, and our union thanks Senator Baldwin and members of the Wisconsin House delegation who voted to invest in our infrastructure and create thousands of jobs with good wages and benefits.”
“The success of families, businesses, and communities in the 21st century demands quality supply chain and information age infrastructure that is ubiquitous throughout the Badger state,” said Mike Koles, Executive Director of Wisconsin Towns Association. “This Act makes a critical down payment on that success, investing in the backbone federal highway system, increasing flexibility for federal funding to be used on first and last mile local roads, and expanding broadband so every Wisconsinite will be empowered to participate in today’s and tomorrow’s economy.”
“It is abundantly clear that local governments around the nation lack the resources to adequately mitigate the ill effects of PFAS chemicals on our precious groundwater sources. The problems are simply too insidious and complex to manage through the annual budgeting process. In order to battle the lack of willing accountability of manufacturers for the impacts of their damaging and pernicious chemicals, municipalities like La Crosse must look to federal assistance to help provide a path forward to ensure resilience and to maintain a healthy and safe water supply for all of our community’s residents,” said Mitch Reynolds, Mayor of La Crosse. “Senator Baldwin has fought to make sure that the bipartisan infrastructure bill under consideration by Congress would deliver the resources necessary to assist La Crosse and other communities to provide a dependably clean water supply which would, in simplest terms, save lives. Support of this legislation does nothing less than provide for the very health and well-being of every single person who lives within communities around the nation impacted by the PFAS crisis.”
“A healthy community and economy go hand in hand. For Rhinelander, PFAS contamination in our drinking water supply along with aging bridges, water and sewer infrastructure are barriers to achieving that. Overcoming these challenges is only possible through federal co-investment and we’re optimistic a bipartisan infrastructure package will do just that,” said Zach Vruwink, City Administrator of Rhinelander.
“As Mayor of the city of Sheboygan I’m happy to express my support for the Build Back Better bill and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Ryan Sorenson, Mayor of Sheboygan. “Both pieces of legislation pending in Congress provide our community with the needed investments to protect our shoreline, improve our water and transportation infrastructure and provide long overdue support for child care, housing and workforce development to keep our economy humming. Senator Baldwin has listened to the concerns of the Sheboygan community and with our support can deliver on these necessary investments.”
“The bipartisan infrastructure package addresses critical needs facing Great Lakes cities, including upgrading water infrastructure, removing lead water lines, and cleaning up emerging contaminants such as PFAS,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on behalf of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. “It will also help us strengthen resilience to climate change by investing in programs that help cities mitigate impacts from flooding, severe storms, and shoreline erosion. Additionally, it will help us leverage the economic value of our waterfronts by investing in ports and harbors and cleaning up toxic hotspots with $1 billion to sustain progress under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, including upcoming cleanup work on the Milwaukee River. We applaud Senator Baldwin’s work to secure strong provisions for our Great Lakes communities”
"We commend Senator Baldwin for supporting the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will help build a stronger economy and make a real difference in the lives of Wisconsin working families. She knows this will create jobs and put people to work rebuilding our great state so we appreciate her leadership on this issue,” said Brandon Strand, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association. “We support Wisconsin's vision to use these resources to fix what we have and keep more of our roads in good condition longer. We stand ready to assist with the competitive grants portion of this package to ensure that we are maximizing the opportunity of this once in a generation infrastructure investment."
“The working men and women of Wisconsin’s building trades and the contractors that employ them greatly appreciate Senator Baldwin’s leadership on the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said Robb Kahl, Executive Director of Construction Business Group. “Senator Baldwin’s tireless efforts will benefit everyone in Wisconsin and we welcome the opportunity to help rebuild, improve and expand our critical infrastructure throughout the state.”
“The Wisconsin County Highway Association (WCHA) applauds Senator Baldwin for her strong support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Daniel J. Fedderly, Executive Director of Wisconsin County Highway Association. “This legislation is critical in bringing Federal funding to Wisconsin’s local roads and bridges. The Local Road System in Wisconsin is the foundation of transportation, moving goods and services throughout the State driving the opportunity for Economic recovery.”
“Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit the people of Wisconsin and the nation’s economy for generations to come. This historic legislation will bring long-overdue investments to a broad range of critical needs in the built environment, from roads, bridges, water systems and airports to greener, more sustainable and more resilient energy,” said Chris Klein, President and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin. “These investments are foundational to a growing economy, and we thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership in helping to secure passage of this landmark legislation.”
“The future of Wisconsin’s maritime economy and proud shipping industry depends on the resiliency and reliability of our transportation infrastructure. That’s why the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association strongly supports the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, President of the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association and Director of Port Milwaukee. “The infrastructure package directs billions of dollars in port infrastructure improvements that will benefit Wisconsin for decades to come by building up maritime infrastructure, supporting economic growth and creating clean-energy jobs. We sincerely thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership to invest in our infrastructure and move Wisconsin forward.”
“We have long worked with leaders on both sides of the aisle to promote gender diversity in the trucking industry and are thankful to Senator Baldwin and other legislators who have listened to the needs of women in the industry,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO of Women In Trucking Association, Inc. “While the road is long yet, we view the inclusion of these measures as a major accomplishment.”
“I wish to express my gratitude to Senator Baldwin for supporting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which will benefit all Americans from so many directions. Much like the New Deal of years ago, Americans shall once again enjoy safe and efficient infrastructure throughout our great Country,” said Terry McGowan, General Vice President of IUOE and President and Business Manager of Local 139. “And what better stimulus program than to not only invest in our country, but to invest in our workers, the men and women who have dedicated their lives to hard work by packing their lunch box, putting on their work boots and facing the everyday challenges and hard work that it takes to build America back better!”
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides long-overdue investments to help rebuild our nation’s and Wisconsin’s infrastructure,” said Debby Jackson, Executive Director of Transportation Development Association. “The increased investment in road, public transportation, rail, port, and airport infrastructure will lead to more jobs, greater economic competitiveness, enhanced mobility, and improved safety.”
“Wisconsin Clean Cities is always pleased with any activity that furthers and supports our sustainable transportation mission,” said Lorrie Lisek, Executive Director of Wisconsin Clean Cities. “Advancing the adoption of EVs through support for EV infrastructure reduces our dependence on imported oil, reduces tailpipe emissions, improves air quality, supports Wisconsin jobs and improves quality of life for all those who live, work and play in our great state.”
"Working over 40 years on the improvement of Infrastructure at the city, county and state level, now more than ever, investment in Infrastructure is critically needed after years of neglect as reported by the American Society of Civil Engineers,” said Clark Wantoch, Executive Director of Wisconsin Concrete Pipe Association. “This investment in Infrastructure will also spring board our economy that is so desperately needed!"
“The investments toward infrastructure outlined in this bill will benefit everyone in Wisconsin,” said Tom Wagener, Executive Committee Chair of Wisconsin Public Transportation. “Public Transportation can continue to be a solution for access to jobs, health care and critical services if we continue to work at insuring that communities have the resources they need,”
“The Wisconsin Airport Management Association supports the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Reinvestment in our nation’s airport infrastructure is critical to maintain the world’s best National Airspace System,” said Brian Grefe, President of the Wisconsin Airport Management Association. “This is particularly true in the state of Wisconsin, where airports generate economic impact to each of their respective communities and as a whole contribute over $6.9 billion in annual economic output, and over $3.5 billion in personal income. Significant investment in the eight commercial service airports, and the 90 general aviation airports in the state is critical to stay competitive on a global scale.”
“Flooding, drought, sewer overflows, lead pipes, and water pollution are all public health challenges that can be mitigated with infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately, our cash-strapped cities cannot afford these improvements. I applaud Senator Tammy Baldwin for her actions to address these national priorities by helping to spearhead improved flood management and lead pipe removal in Milwaukee. Now is the time to do even more to address these challenges in an integrated watershed approach. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides a generational opportunity for our nation to invest in itself, improve our economy, employ our citizens, protect the environment, and create a foundation for all our futures. We can leave our infrastructure better for the future if we invest now,” said Kevin Shafer, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD).
“We are grateful for the support of Senator Tammy Baldwin to reauthorize and increase revolving funds to States, create new grant and loan funding for replacement of lead service lines and treatment of per- and poly-fluorinated compounds, provide workforce development grants to prepare workers for jobs in water, and move forward a customer assistance program specific to water utility payments. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act shows recognition of the need for federal investment in water infrastructure for small, medium, and large utilities and delivers the most critical resources that will positively impact our ability to best provide clean drinking water to our customers” said Karen Dettmer, Superintendent of Milwaukee Water Works.
“Water infrastructure is at a breaking point and, all too often, that is literally the case. For that reason, The Water Council strongly supports the proposed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act being considered in the U.S. Congress,” said Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of The Water Council. “Not only will the act help Americans have access to clean, abundant freshwater, but it will also boost water technology companies – including many in Wisconsin – working to find innovative ways to remove contaminants and improve local water infrastructure. Moreover, the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program will develop the critical workers of tomorrow that the water technology industry requires to grow a resilient workforce ready to tackle critical water challenges today and in the future.”
"The Coulee Region Sierra Club group leadership is grateful to Senator Tammy Baldwin for her support of the bold climate initiatives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Senate Budget Resolution,” said Kathy Allen, Chair of the Coulee Region Sierra Club Group. “The funding for clean energy and clean transportation incentives, weatherization and electrification of buildings, clean energy manufacturing, and climate-smart agriculture in this legislation will benefit both our environment and our local economy. It will help municipalities and businesses in Western Wisconsin strengthen our communities while battling the looming climate crisis and building a healthier, more secure future for our country."