Following last week's Senate approval of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, Louisiana will get $5.9 billion over five years to build roads and bridges, which, according to Senator Bill Cassidy, is about $1.2 billion more than expected.
Several provisions included in the bill will benefit Louisiana directly, including $3.5 billion that will go toward flood mitigation and $109 million for Louisiana Corps Federal projects to dredge and repair damages caused by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta.
"There's a lot of things in this that directly benefit our state," Cassidy said in a Zoom call Monday.
Some of that money will also go to providing a universal broadband service in areas where only 2-3% of people are able to access broadband, Cassidy said.
"This is going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, maybe over a million, directly and indirectly," Cassidy added. "For all those folks watching right now that want to have a better paying job, this could be your ticket."
Some funding for things like sewage and drainage will be put in the state's revolving fund later this year, while money for bridges/roads likely won't be available for a few years. Cassidy said the time frame will depend on permitting and planning for those projects.
$2.13 billion will be allocated to ecosystem restoration to restore the ecological health of Federal lands and waters and private lands. In Louisiana, this funding will advance coastal restoration and flood mitigation efforts. Another $9.5 billion will benefit numerous ports and waterways, like the Port of Calcasieu and Port Fourchon.
The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 69-30 last Tuesday. Cassidy was one of five lead Republicans and part of a bipartisan group of 22 Senators who were for the bill.
"If we're going to pass something, both parties have to cooperate," he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Sunday that the House will take a single vote that would clear an initial hurdle for both the infrastructure bill and a budget resolution, ABC News reports. Read more here.
Cassidy said lawmakers have noticed younger residents moving and seeking opportunities offered in other states. He hopes the infrastructure bill and its benefits for Louisiana "allow[s] us to catch up with those other states."
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