How American Jobs Plan could affect Kansas

Kansas

President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the American Jobs Plan in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A statement released by the White House on Monday calls the United States the wealthiest country in the world while it ranks 13th in the quality of its infrastructure.

President Biden has called on a deeply divided Congress to get behind an infrastructure plan that makes an investment in roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports and transit systems.

What does that mean for Kansas? The White House has released a state-by-state plan for improving the nation’s roads.

According to the American Jobs Plan Kansas’ infrastructure only receives a C grade.

The plan states that there are 1,321 bridges and over 1,995 miles of highway in Kansas in poor condition. The plan estimates that Kansans pay $509 in costs as a result of driving on these poor surfaces.

The White House stated that from 2010 to 2020 Kansas experienced 42 extreme weather events, costing the state $20 billion. Biden’s plan calls for $50 billion to help communities recover from disasters.

The plan estimates Kansas water infrastructure will require $5.3 billion in funding to modernize. The plan puts aside $111 billion for safe drinking water improvements.

The White House said they intend to spend $100 billion to bring broadband coverage to areas where no broadband currently exists. The government estimates 14.3% of Kansans live in areas where there is no broadband connection possible.

Biden is proposing $200 billion to increasing the housing supply to address affordable housing. The White House estimates 163,000 renters in Kansas spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

The plan estimates there is a $257 million gap in what schools need for maintenance and what they need. It is estimated that 44% of Kansas residents live in a childcare desert.

Hoping to upgrade low-income homes to be more energy-efficient the American Jobs Plan proposes to use resources to make older homes more energy-efficient. In Kansas, a family spends 6 to 8% of its income on energy costs.

The White House plan wants to spend $18 billion to improve the VA system for Kansas’s 191,186 veterans.

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