LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Monday, President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law with the goal of repairing and rebuilding the nation's roads, bridges, and broadband, among other infrastructure upgrades.
The bill has bipartisan support, with 19 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in the Senate in favor of its passage. Both of Nevada's senators supported it, and say they've secured more than $4 billion for the Silver State. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) helped get the bill passed, with Rosen helping to write the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Safe roads 🛣️
Sturdy bridges 🌉
Affordable high-speed internet 🖥️
Modernized airports ✈️
Improved public transit 🚍🚆
Water resources for the West 🚰
☝️ That’s what’s in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Proud to have helped deliver this package for Nevada.
— Senator Jacky Rosen (@SenJackyRosen) November 15, 2021
They say the bill will create thousands of new jobs in Nevada, citing a recent study from Georgetown University that found it will create more than 140,000 new jobs for Nevadans over the next 10 years. Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris promised these will be good-paying union jobs like the one held by Jovan Johnson, a carpenter she recently met in Nevada.
"She has, quote,'built her career on infrastructure and fed her family on infrastructure,'" Harris said about Johnson.
13 Action News is breaking down the $4 billion in funding coming to Nevada over the next five years. More than half of that money, $2.5 billion, will help build and repair highways, about $225 billion will repair and replace bridges, and more than $500 million will improve public transportation throughout the state.
"On average, Nevadans are paying over $500 every year for car repairs because of the poor conditions of our roads. We've got 28 bridges and over 1,000 miles of highway in poor condition. Commute times are going up in the last decade. This new law will fix our roads, bridges and highways, ultimately saving Nevadans money and bringing down those kinds of costs," said Rosen on a call with members of the media.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has officially been signed into law! I made sure to include investments in Nevada that will create thousands of jobs, strengthen our clean energy and transportation sectors, and combat wildfires and drought.
— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) November 15, 2021
Broadband will get a big boost, with Nevada set to receive more than $100 million to improve and provide affordable internet — especially in rural parts of the state.
"So many are under-served. Why is that important? It brings telehealth, telemedicine, e-learning certifications, apprenticeship programs that can be done online. This is an incredible opportunity," Cortez-Masto said.
The state's airports will receive nearly $300 million. A spokesperson for McCarran International Airport said it's too early to determine how much money that particular airport will receive and what improvements would be made.
Finally, the state will receive more than $400 million to improve water infrastructure and make sure Nevadans have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Nevada has the chance to earn even more money through provisions in the bill to pay for things like wildfire prevention and a water recycling program.
13 Action News reached out to the Nevada GOP and Adam Laxalt, who's running to unseat Cortez-Masto and represent Nevada in the U.S. Senate.
Only Laxalt responded, sending a statement that reads:
"Facing a historic inflation crisis, Democrats in Congress are spending trillions of dollars on liberal wish lists. The vast majority of this bill has nothing to do with actual infrastructure projects and the new jobs it claims it will create would compete directly with certain Nevada businesses who already can’t find workers. This is terrible timing for our economy as Nevadans struggle with skyrocketing costs, soaring gas prices, growing supply chain issues, and the worst unemployment of any state in the nation. We cannot tax and spend our way back to prosperity, we need pro-jobs, pro-worker solutions."