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Sen. Hurtado Invited to White House for Infrastructure Bill Signing



In August Sen. Melissa Hurtado announced a $100 million "downpayment" to repair water infrastructure in California. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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State Sen. Melissa Hurtado will be at the White House on Monday as President Joe Biden signs the $978 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law.

“President Biden has kept his promise to the American people, and Americans can finally see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Hurtado, D-Sanger. “The passage of this bill means much more than the desperate need to modernize our aging infrastructure. The passage of this bill also symbolizes Americans coming together for the betterment of this nation and its people.

“When the community of Teviston went without water during this year’s heat wave, the last thing on their minds was party politics. They needed water no matter, plain and simple. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an investment in California, and our nation, by providing our children a brighter, more sustainable future and a stronger economic outlook.”

Across the United States, approximately 10 million American homes and 400,000 schools and daycare centers lack safe drinking water, Hurtado said. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest approximately $3.5 billion in federal funding to help improve water infrastructure throughout California, to ensure that all residents have access to clean, safe drinking water.

In 2021, Hurtado introduced Senate Bill 559 — The State Water Resiliency Act of 2021. As introduced SB 559 would have allocated $785 million to repair water delivery systems that provide drinking water to communities throughout California and water to sustain the state’s agricultural economy. The funds would have gone to fixing the Friant-Kern Canal, the Delta-Mendota Canal, and major portions of the California Aqueduct, all of which have degraded and are losing water as a result of subsidence — the actual shrinking of land.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, have companion legislation in Congress. In the budget ultimately adopted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, $100 million was allocated to repairing the canals.

California’s Share of Infrastructure Funding

Altogether, California is slated to receive about $45.5 billion from the massive infrastructure bill passed in Congress last week, an investment that state officials say will help create jobs and improve infrastructure.

The state expects to receive $25.3 billion for federal aid highway programs, and an additional $4.2 billion to replace and repair bridges. Hurtado said California has more than 1,536 bridges and more than 14,220 miles of highway that need repair to ensure the safety for all users.

Hurtado received an invitation from the president to attend the bill signing, which will be at 3 p.m. East Coast time on Monday.

She flew to Washington, D.C. on Friday.