INFO ALERT: Business makes infrastructure funding work

Posted October 27th, 2022 | Status:

Business makes California work on myriad levels. Business leaders are making the gears turn on infrastructure funding, working behind the scenes to ensure California gets the money it needs at the federal, state, and local levels. Read on to learn how BizFed leaders and partners are mobilizing to maximize funding and get shovels in the ground ASAP.

  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Lots of money, but not much time. $50 billion of federal funding + $47 billion of state funding is available for California infrastructure over five years.

  • NEW CZAR: Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was recently appointed Governor Gavin Newsom’s Infrastructure Advisor. BizFed has his ear.

  • PRO TIP: Focus on collaboration. Villaraigosa recommends “rowing in the same direction” at all levels of government to maximize funding.

WHY IT MATTERS

Federal, state, and local infrastructure funding in California yields nearly $200 billion in economic activity and creates 700,000 jobs each year, meaning every $1 spent on infrastructure yields $4.30 in economic activity. If that alone isn’t a good reason to spend on infrastructure, consider how some of the systems of systems that connect our communities, move essential resources, and propel California’s economy are due for major upgrades.

  • TRANSPORTATION: California has 1,536 bridges and more than 14,220 miles of highway in poor condition, according to a July 2022 White House report.

  • CLIMATE: We need funding to shore up infrastructure for ambitious climate change proposals spearheaded by Governor Newsom and adopted by state regulators.

  • WATER: MWD’s Regional Recycled Water program, the Cadiz Water Project, desalination projects, and other proposals backed by BizFed must be robustly funded to ensure drought resilience.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed into law last November translates to nearly $50 billion of infrastructure funding for California. The federal money will be distributed to the state via local governments or directly to California households over a five-year period. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently allocated $121 million for the eight California projects below through IIJA’s RAISE grant program (Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity).

  • $25 million: High-Speed Rail Authority’s Merced Extension
  • $23 million: San Francisco MTA’s Howard Street improvements
  • $20 million: Port of LA’s Terminal Island Grade Separation
  • $15 million: Inglewood’s Transit Connector Project
  • $15 million: Yuba-Sutter Transit Authority’s zero-emission bus operations
  • $15 million: Fontana’s multi-modal complete street improvements
  • $5 million: Sacramento Area COG’s Mobility Zones plan
  • $1.6 million: Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s pedestrian and bicycle path across Highway 101 in Del Norte County

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Business leaders are gearing up to help the state win more competitive grants and unlock capital funding for infrastructure projects. BizFed had the privilege of participating this week in a Roundtable Listening Session led by recently appointed “infrastructure czar” Antonio Villaraigosa. His new position is supported by a partnership with California Forward, which collaborates with Villaraigosa and members of the Newsom administration on local engagement.

State leaders have now held a series of these listening sessions up and down the state to hear from business, community, and labor leaders, as well as local elected officials. The game plan is clear. We must join forces, pool resources, and identify shared goals to ensure funding slated for our communities doesn’t go unused. Through the 2022 budget, California is investing $47 billion in infrastructure projects. (That’s on top of federal funding from IIJA!)

In anticipation of historic funding, we’ve created BizFed’s I-710 South Corridor Task Force and I-405 Sepulveda Pass Corridor Task Force under the umbrella of the BizFed Transportation Committee to better leverage IIJA funds to benefit these critically important regional corridors. Please contact Senior Policy Manager Chris Wilson at chris.wilson@bizfed.org to learn more.

What are the top infrastructure needs in your sector, community, or organization? Bring them to BizFed. Decision makers are listening to us.


Stay tuned for more funding updates – and hopefully a slew of Victory Alerts!

Tracy Hernandez
BizFed Founding CEO