Minnesota lawmakers react to signing of $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:38 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:16 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday.

“This bipartisan infrastructure bill is a big deal for Minnesota and communities all across Minnesota,” said Sen. Tina Smith (D - Minnesota).

Minnesota will receive $6.8 billion to make improvements in several key areas.

“Bridges and transit, it’s focused on building out broadband and it’s also focused on expanding the infrastructure for electric vehicles,” Smith listed.

Smith said it will also jumpstart the economy and create new jobs.

“It’s going to mean significant job opportunities for Minnesota too, especially in construction, especially folks that are interested in getting involved in helping to install those broadband networks,” Smith stated.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D - Minnesota) echoed Smith’s support of the bill.

“One of the reasons that we need this investment is that we don’t want to fall behind the rest of the world,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar’s top priority is to expand broadband internet access to all Minnesotans.

“There are surprising areas of Minnesota that still don’t have high-speed access. They may have internet, but it’s really slow, and this was my piece of the bill. I’m going to be able to make sure that the money goes out and to our state,” Klobuchar explained.

It’s a priority she shares with Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), even though he voted against the trillion-dollar plan.

“We all supported broadband with unanimous support in both the Small Business and Agriculture Committees that I serve on. We got to build it out and make sure people have that opportunity. I’m all for it,” Hagedorn said.

Smith says the investment will also speed up local road construction and highway projects.

“We’re going to be seeing investments of about $7.8 million in transit in the Mankato area,” Smith mentioned.

But, Hagedorn believes the improvements could be made without the bill’s hefty price tag.

“I voted against it because it had about $600 billion of spending that wasn’t necessary,” Hagedorn stated.

Smith and Klobuchar, however, are pushing for even more funds with the Build Back Better Act.

Smith said, “The second half of the bill, which we have yet to pass, which is the Build Back Better budget, we are going to get that done by the end of the year.”

If passed, the act would use $1.75 trillion in additional funds to expand federal benefits and to expedite the nation’s transition to green energy and transportation.

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