Valley State Senator Melissa Hurtado goes to Washington for historic bill signing

By The Leader Staff
State Senator Mellissa Hurtado
State Senator Mellissa Hurtado

Central Valley State Senator Melissa Hurtado, who represents Lemoore and the Central Valley, announced that she would travel to Washington D.C. to attend the signing of the historic $973 Billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

According to Hurtado, the recently signed legislation provides billions for California.

 “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 Senator Hurtado. “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 heatwave, 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.”

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, California is expected to receive $25.3 billion dollars in federal aid for federal-aid highway programs, and an additional $4.2 billion to replace and repair California’s bridges. California has more than 1,536 bridges and more than 14,220 miles of highway that need repair to ensure the safety of all users.

Approximately 27 percent of Californians currently lack high-speed internet access, and under this investment, a minimum of $100 million will be allocated to provide broadband coverage across the state. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will also invest $40 million to protect California’s infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Across the United States, approximately 10 million American homes and 400,000 schools and daycare centers lack safe drinking water. 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, Senator Hurtado introduced Senate Bill 559—The State Water Resiliency Act of 2021. As introduced SB 559 would have allocated $785 million to repair vital water delivery systems that provide drinking water to communities throughout California and water to sustain the state’s leading 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. Congressman Jim Costa and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein have companion legislation in Congress. In the budget adopted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom, $100 million was allocated to repairing the canals.

In 2019, Hurtado’s Senate Bill 513 passed, which allows the State Water Resources Control Board to provide grants to eligible applicants to provide relief to households in which a private water well has gone dry, or been destroyed by drought, wildfire, or another natural disaster.

The Senator’s Senate Bill 974 (2019) allows various water infrastructure projects to be exempted from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) These exemptions will help disadvantaged community water systems that improve water quality, water supply, or water reliability to seek necessary infrastructure to address their water supply needs and avoid the timely and costly burden of CEQA.

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