American Jobs Plan would have significant impact on Arkansas

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On Monday, the White House released a state-by-state breakdown on the economic impact of President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan.

The plan’s main impact would be on roads and bridges that need work, along with improving access to broadband and replacing lead solder and pipes across the country.

The White House said there’s 663 bridges and more than 6,7000 miles of highways rated in “poor condition” across the state with 27 percent of public transportation in buses, and trains, that need to be replaced.

The plan also calls for $50 billion to be spent nationally to help improve infrastructure after severe weather events and the state has seen 32 of those in the last decade.

The White House also said that $7.4 billion will be needed over the next 20 years to improve water systems across Arkansas, and the $2 trillion plan has $111 billion set aside for those improvements.

Another area of emphasis is improving access to broadband internet across the state. A quarter of the state lives in rural areas that have no access to broadband, while 54 percent of the state lives in areas with only one internet provider. Some 20 percent of the state’s residents do not have access to home-based internet.

The plan also calls for $200 billion in housing nationally, with $400 billion set aside for caregiving. There’s also $350 million to improve childcare options across the country, with $300 billion  for manufacturing. The report notes that “manufacturers account for more than 15% of total output in Arkansas, employing 164,000 workers, or 12.8% of the state’s workforce.”

Veterans health would also see significant increases in spending with $18 billion of the plan to improve VA facilities across the country and in Arkansas. Two of the largest VA hospitals in Arkansas are in North Little Rock and Little Rock.

The state also has nearly a quarter-million veterans living in Arkansas, with not quite half of those 65 and older.

There’s also money for home weatherizations and to increase the number of workers in the clean energy sector.

The complete report can be read by clicking here.