GrayRobinson Government Affairs and Lobbying Team: How Local Governments Can Build Off of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Insight | December 9, 2021
How We Got Here
After months and months of debate on infrastructure legislation, lawmakers finally reached a deal. On August 10, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed its version of infrastructure. Officially titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the $1.2 trillion ($550 billion in new federal spending) bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the Senate via a 69-30 vote. On November 5, 2021, the House of Representatives concurred, passing the bill with a vote of 228-206. President Joe Biden signed the IIJA into law on November 15, 2021.
What This Means for Local Governments 
The bill is largely a five-year reauthorization of surface transportation programs through Fiscal Year 2026 (FY26). Only $550 billion of the $1.2 trillion bill is new spending; most increases are to existing infrastructure programs — $284 billion above baseline spending toward transportation and $266 billion for other infrastructure programs. Unlike the American Rescue Plan Act, the IIJA makes no direct allocations to local governments. Instead, funds will be distributed through existing formula grant programs and competitive grant programs, unless otherwise specified. The various federal grant programs have individual parameters and eligibility requirements.
What’s in the IIJA
HIGHWAYS, ROADS, AND BRIDGES — $110 billion in new spending
  • $273 billion over five years for federal highway construction and Surface Transportation Block Grants (STBG)
  • $36.7 billion for bridge grant programs
  • $8.2 billion for national and local infrastructure projects with national or regional significance. Lawmakers could pass a resolution for selected projects 
  • $7.5 billion for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary surface transportation grants
  • $7.5 billion for states to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and a data-sharing network
  • $200 million per year ($1 billion in total) through FY26 for a "Safe Streets and Roads for All" program creating competitive grants for state projects that significantly reduce or eliminate transportation-related fatalities
PUBLIC TRANSIT — $39.2 billion
PORTS/WATERWAYS — $16.6 billion
RAIL — $66 billion
RESILIENCY — $47.2 billion
  • $1 billion for a new grant program to provide cybersecurity assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial entities
  • $100 million for the Cyber Response and Recovery Fund
  • $500 million for the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program
AVIATION — $25 billion
  • $15 billion in formula funding for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) projects 
  • $5 billion for airport terminal development projects 
  • $5 billion for Federal Aviation Administration facilities and equipment
WATER — $55 billion
  • $14.7 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program
  • $14.7 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program
  • $280 million per year through FY26 for grants to states to support municipal planning and construction of projects to address sewer overflows
  • $75 million per year through FY26 for research grants to address water pollution and training at water treatment works
ENERGY AND POWER — $65 billion
  • $5 billion in electric grid security and resiliency
  • $500 million for school improvements that reduce energy costs
  • $250 million for competitive grants to small, municipal, and rural utilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats
BROADBAND — $65 billion
  • $42.5 billion for a Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. Measure would provide a minimum of $100 million to each state, and the remaining funds would be allocated using a formula 
  • $2 billion for the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant program
IIJA Implementation
When President Biden signed the IIJA into law on November 15, 2021, he also signed an executive order establishing an Infrastructure Implementation Task Force. In implementing infrastructure law, President Biden turned to two former mayors for help: former Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu, will oversee implementation of the $550 billion infrastructure bill, and former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, will oversee about half of the $550 billion in new spending. The task force is also charged with ensuring projects comply with the administration’s "Justice40" initiative, which calls for at least 40% of federal investments to flow to "disadvantaged communities." President Biden also asked the task force to coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments to avoid waste.
What We Can Do For You
If you would like additional information on specific grant programs, please contact Blair Hancock or Lauren Baio in GrayRobinson’s Washington, D.C. office. Our Government Affairs and Lobbying Team includes experienced D.C. insiders with decades of experience working on Capitol Hill, within executive agencies, and lobbying the federal government. We regularly assist in researching grants, and will work with you to assess whether your local municipality is eligible to apply. Leveraging both our lobbying and legal practices, we regularly conduct thorough research, review, and analysis of legal implications on federal proposed laws and initiatives for our clients. Our assessment will help determine the viability of any proposal. 


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