What Floridians Are Seeing: Florida Stands To Massively Benefit From Infrastructure Investment While Marco Rubio Puts His Political Agenda Ahead Of Fixing Roads And Bridges

11 mins read

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act will be a much-needed economic boost for the state of Florida. From new funding to help fix Florida’s over 400 bridges and 3,500 miles of highway in poor condition to expanding broadband for the over 700,000 Floridians who currently lack it, the bill will create good-paying jobs, cut commute times, and boost Florida businesses. 
New reports are showing just how much Florida stands to gain from the bill. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is doubling down on his opposition to it, openly stating that he prioritized his own political agenda over investing in Florida’s infrastructure when he voted against it. 

See below for highlights of what Floridians are seeing about the infrastructure deal and Rubio’s self-serving vote against it: 

WESH: Sen. Rubio discusses voting no on trillion-dollar infrastructure bill

  • Rubio joined Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott in opposing the bipartisan measure despite the approval from 19 other Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • Orlando Democratic lawmaker Anna Eskamani said Rubio made a political choice that could have cost the state hundreds of millions of federal dollars.
  • “These are not partisan issues. So, for Marco Rubio to continue to play this partisan card is more about his reelection than about the people of Florida,” Eskamani said.

WTVJ: What the Infrastructure Bill Means for South Florida

  • It’s money meant to fix everything from aging roads to harmful lead pipes. 
  • South Florida’s river of grass, the Everglades, is expected to benefit big from the bill: billions of federal dollars to help fund restoration projects 
  • There are hundreds of bridges here in south Florida, and as you can see some are in dire need of repair. There are billions of dollars earmarked for bridges and the investment is the largest in bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system. 
  • The deal, a big win for President Biden, hoping the momentum will move forward his second spending bill. 

Spectrum News 13: Federal dollars coming to Florida for road fixes

  • The Sunshine State is set to receive money to fix roads and fund several other projects as part of the $1 trillion federal infrastructure plan Congress just passed.
  • Much of this funding will come over the span of five years. According to the White House, there are 408 bridges and more than 3,564 miles of highway in poor condition across Florida.
  • The White House goes on to say, in its infrastructure bill memo, that driver commute times in Florida have risen by 11.6% on average since 2011; also, that each driver pays $425 on average each year for car repairs due to poor roads.
  • It is a long list of many projects; that is why not all lawmakers were on board. Both of Florida’s U.S. Republican senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted no.

Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: How the new infrastructure bill will boost Florida

  • It’s real stuff: roads, bridges, airports, the electric power grid and, yes, internet service. And a lot of money is flowing to Florida.
  • Not only do our roads need work, they need to be kept useable even as the seas rise and the climate changes. Florida is among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, so this news — and this spending — will be welcome. It also aims to make Florida safer for pedestrians and cyclists, which matters because the Sunshine State is already the most dangerous place to walk in the United States.
  • Although some wrongly claim otherwise, high-speed internet is “infrastructure,” too. And this bill will allocate at least $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across Florida. That will be good news to the more than 700,000 Floridians who don’t have it. For both educational and business purposes, broadband internet is a basic necessity.
  • While this is a bipartisan bill, it was strictly partisan business as usual in Florida, sadly. When the Senate approved the bill back in August, Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott both voted “no.”
  • So when those things actually get built in Florida, those who voted “no” should not go anywhere near a ribbon-cutting. They may argue that the investments are too expensive. The reality? It’s too costly to Florida’s future not to make them.

Miami Herald Breaks Down Impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill on Florida, Billions of Dollars in Crucial Investments Are Coming to the State

A story by the Miami Herald’s Alex Daugherty last updated today gives an overview of the billions of dollars that will be invested in the State of Florida thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act once it is signed into law by President Biden. 

Not a single Florida Republican in either chamber of Congress voted for this transformative bill, which will boost our economy, help fight climate change and repair and expand our state’s infrastructure.

These are some key quotes:

“In Florida, the White House estimates that $13.1 billion would be spent to rebuild and modernize Florida’s highways with an additional $245 million for bridge replacement and repairs. The White House cited data from the American Society of Civil Engineers that said 3,584 miles of highway and 408 bridges in Florida are in poor condition.” 

“The White House also said Florida expects to receive $2.6 billion over five years to improve public transit. And the state would get $198 million over five years to expand an electric vehicle charging network, with an opportunity to apply for $2.5 billion more in grants to further expand EV charging stations.”

“Florida would get $100 million to expand broadband internet coverage across the state, which the White House says would give internet access to more than 700,000 Floridians who currently do not have it. An additional 6.5 million Floridians, or anyone with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty line (about $25,500 for an individual in 2021), would be eligible for a $30 a month internet subsidy under the bill.”

“The state will receive $1.6 billion over five years to improve drinking water infrastructure, $26 million to protect against wildfires, $29 million to protect against cyberattacks and $1.2 billion for airports.”
To read the full story, please click here.

Statement from Florida Democratic Chair Manny Diaz Congratulating Former Florida Governor and United States Senator Bob Graham on his 85th Birthday

In recognition of former Governor and Senator Bob Graham’s birthday, and his decades of outstanding service to our state, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:

“Bob Graham’s legacy of service to Florida is unrivaled in our state’s history. He began his career as a state legislator, won the governorship in 1978 and, after serving two terms in the governor’s mansion, was elected Senator and represented the State of Florida in Washington D.C. for 18 years. One of the crowning accomplishments in his truly stellar political career was being named Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during his last term in the upper chamber. 

“Even after retiring from elected office he continued to serve our state and our nation. President Barack Obama appointed him to serve as Co-Chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He also later served as Commissioner on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and as the Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

“A full accounting of his accomplishments as a public servant could fill many books, but that would only begin to document his impact over the years. Beyond his legendary skills as a politician, Bob Graham has been loved and admired by millions for his unique and extraordinary personal qualities: intelligence, equanimity, warmth, empathy, industry and decency. For Senator Graham, every single day was a “workday” for the people of Florida. Florida is lucky and proud to have him as a native son.

“It is an honor for me personally and as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Florida to congratulate Bob Graham on his 85th birthday, and wish him, his wife, Adele, and the entire Graham family many more healthy and happy years together.

“God Bless You Senator Graham.”

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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