In an effort to sell President Biden’s expansive $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, the White House has released a “fact sheet” for each state that details needs and how they would be addressed under the plan. See the one for Arkansas below.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said this weekend that the administration hopes to see major progress on the bill in Congress by Memorial Day.
President Biden is meeting today with a bipartisan group of senators and representatives to discuss the plan.
For decades, infrastructure in Arkansas has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. The need for action is clear. The American Jobs Plan will make a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure.
• ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Arkansas there are 663 bridges and over 6,700 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 3% in Arkansas and on average, each driver pays $671 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. 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: Arkansans who take public transportation spend an extra 31.7% of their time commuting and non-White households are 3.8 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 27% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.
• RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Arkansas has experienced 32 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.
• DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Arkansas’ drinking water infrastructure will require $7.4 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.
• HOUSING: In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 168,000 renters in Arkansas are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The President proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
• BROADBAND: 27% of Arkansans live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 54% of Arkansans live in areas where there is only one such internet provider. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. 20% of Arkansas households 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.
• CAREGIVING: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities are in need of home and community-based services. The President’s plan will invest $400 billion to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.
• CHILD CARE: In Arkansas, there is an estimated $350 million gap in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements and 35% of residents live in a childcare desert. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities and build new ones in neighborhoods across Arkansas and the country.
• MANUFACTURING: Manufacturers account for more than 15% of total output in Arkansas, employing 164,000 workers, or 12.8% of the state’s workforce. The American Job’s Plan will invest $300 billion to retool and revitalize American manufacturers.
• HOME ENERGY: In Arkansas, an average low-income family spends 10-12% of their income on home energy costs forcing tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine or other essentials. The American Jobs Plan will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient through a historic investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program, a new Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance building improvements, and expanded tax credits to support home energy upgrades.
• CLEAN ENERGY JOBS: As of 2019, there were 20,377 Arkansans working in clean energy, and the American Jobs Plan invests in creating 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.
• VETERANS HEALTH: Arkansas is home to over 222,000 veterans, 8% of whom are women and 46% of whom are over the age of 65. The President is calling for $18 billion to improve the infrastructure of VA health care facilities to ensure the delivery of world-class, state of the art care to veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. This includes improvements to ensure appropriate care for women and older veterans.