PLASKETT ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT PROVISIONS FOR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement on the provisions included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the Virgin Islands which passed the House today:
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest long-term investment in U.S. infrastructure in almost 100 years. As we know, the infrastructure in the Virgin Islands has suffered from a systemic lack of investment that has been further exacerbated by the storms of 2017. This historic act will make life better for hundreds of thousands of residents in the Virgin Islands, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth. The following provisions are included for the Virgin Islands:
Through the Territorial Highway Program (THP), the Virgin Islands would expect to receive more than $95 million over five years to rebuild roads and bridges. The VI would also be able to compete for $7.5 billion in funding over five years for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
Based on formula funding alone, the Virgin Islands would expect to receive nearly $30 million over five years under this legislation to improve public transportation options across the territory.
The V.I. will receive a minimum allocation of $25 million to help improve broadband service and to promote broadband adoption and affordability. Also, under this legislation, thousands of Virgin Islanders will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit, which will help low-income families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level afford internet access.
Based on historical formula funding levels, the V.I. will expect to receive $2.5 million to protect against cyberattacks. The Virgin Islands will also benefit from the bill’s historic $3.5 billion national investment in weatherization which will reduce energy costs for families.
The Virgin Islands can expect to receive over $37 million over five years to improve water infrastructure in the region and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is accessible.
Additionally, the V.I. would receive approximately $30 million for airport infrastructure development over five years.
“I’m looking forward to the final passage of the historic Build Back Better bill that will put our Virgin Islands workers, families and children first. I will continue to work with the Senate to ensure that our priorities for the people of are included in the final reconciliation package.”