ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota stands to get billions of dollars from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that cleared Congress this weekend and awaits President Joe Biden's signature.
The Biden administration said in August that Minnesota would get the following:
- $4.8 billion for road and bridge improvements over five years
- $818 million for public transit
- At least $100 million for rural broadband internet access
- At least $68 million for electric vehicle charging stations
- $680 million for water infrastructure
Some of the money is a reallocation of existing programs, while the rest is new money available to states. The infrastructure bill also includes pools of money that Minnesota can compete for.
How long will it take?
This weekend, Biden promised that Americans would see some benefits within 2 to 3 months. But many of the programs will take several months to approve -- and potentially years -- to fully build.
For example, states won't be able to spend their funding for electric vehicle charging stations until the federal government approves rules for the spending.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised a separate concern on Monday: that Minnesota wouldn't have enough workers to build all the potential projects.
"We want the work to be done," Klobuchar, a Democrat who supported the infrastructure bill, told reporters in St. Paul. "It’s not just, 'Will the money go out?' I’m actually not as worried about that. I want to get the work done and to get the work done, you also need workers."
Union laborers cheered the bill's narrow 228-206 passage in the House after weeks of gridlock, saying it would bring jobs for years to come.
"This is a good day America - country over politics," tweeted Jason George, business manager of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49. George criticized Republicans -- including all four GOP House members from Minnesota -- and Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar for voting against the measure. Democratic U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, Angie Craig and Dean Phillips voted in favor.
Boost for electric vehicles
The bill will fund a partial buildout of the nation's EV charging network.
The U.S. has a fraction of the stations it will need by the end of the decade if automakers hit their EV sales goals. Minnesota's charging stations are concentrated almost exclusively in the Twin Cities Metro.
The buildout is key to reducing so-called range anxiety, or drivers who are used to filling up at gas stations and worry about where they'll charge away from home.
"The infrastructure is important for travel, and having the places to make sure that you can charge your vehicle very similar to what people do when they go to the gas station," said Lee Hile of Richfield, as he charged his car at a supercharger in St. Louis Park on Monday.
Automakers have said the switch to electric vehicles will require government support, including charging networks and an expanded EV tax credit.
Congress is debating a $12,500 tax credit for new EV purchases, including $4,500 for buying a union-made car and $500 for cars that have a U.S.-made battery pack. The measure is within a nearly $2 trillion package of climate and social spending, which has been stalled for several weeks.