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ICYMI: Governor Phil Scott, Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the Vermont Mayors Coalition Urge Congress to Pass Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

July 21, 2021

Yesterday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott held a press conference in support of President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, urging Congress to work together and pass the legislation swiftly. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) and the Vermont Mayors Coalition also announced support for the plan, with both organizations signing on to a joint resolution.

At his press conference, Governor Scott highlighted the dire need for upgrades to our country's infrastructure. The announcements from VCLT and the Vermont Mayors Coalition similarly noted that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Vermont a "C" grade on its most recent infrastructure report card and that "significant investments are needed to improve that grade."

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will reinvest in infrastructure nationwide – from roads and bridges to broadband to clean water to climate resiliency – and serve as a transformational opportunity to grow the economy through good-paying union jobs.

Governor Scott also said the infrastructure plan, if passed, "would help us take a step towards unity," and hopes that legislators in Washington can put partisanship aside and "deliver results."

Read the releases below and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns resolution HERE.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Contact:
Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
jason.maulucci@vermont.gov

GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT, CABINET OFFICIALS URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and members of his Cabinet are urging Congress to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), negotiated by a group of Democratic and Republican senators and the White House. At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Scott was joined by Joe Flynn, secretary of the Agency of Transportation, Julie Moore, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and June Tierney, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, to discuss the benefits of the package.

The framework, reportedly in the final stages of negotiations on Capitol Hill, would invest about $1.2 trillion to repair roads and bridges, build out electric vehicle infrastructure, support public transit systems, make substantial investments in broadband, water and power infrastructure, while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and creating good paying jobs.

"The need to upgrade our physical infrastructure is something most Americans can agree on," said Governor Scott. "This is an issue Republicans and Democrats have talked about for years, and I think we have a real opportunity to finally get something done."

"Among many other initiatives, the package includes $312 billion going directly to fixing highways, rebuilding bridges, and upgrading transit systems, rail, and airports," said Secretary Flynn. "This would make a huge difference for Vermont, helping us address critical transportation needs."

"The passage of a long-term and comprehensive infrastructure bill is an incredible opportunity to rebuild Vermont's aging infrastructure, including drinking water and wastewater, remediate and redevelop brownfield properties and other contaminated sites, and address challenges posed by climate change," said Secretary Moore. "Timely passage of a federal infrastructure package will allow Vermont to build on the momentum created by current investments to make transformational improvements that will serve and support Vermonters for decades with high quality waters and a cleaner environment."

"The framework for the infrastructure bill acknowledges broadband as infrastructure, meaning, that it is equivalent to a highway. This is new, and therefore good news," said Commissioner Tierney. "This signals a very important step forward in federal policy and budget thinking around broadband. It shows that Washington is finally starting to get the message: broadband is a necessity, not a nice-to-have alternative to landline telephones and cable TV. The bipartisan framework also contemplates creating a centralized Grid Development Authority at the federal Department of Energy. This is a long-overdue recognition that grid resiliency and greening are not just regional or state issues – these are issues of national import, as well."

Governor Scott also noted that the passage of this package would represent an important accomplishment for bipartisanship. "Not only would this package make us more competitive, create good paying jobs and help modernize our country, but it would also be a much-needed moral victory for a very polarized nation," said Governor Scott. "After all the division and partisanship that we've seen over the past several years, coming together with a major bipartisan piece of legislation would help us take a step towards unity, and I hope bring down the partisan temperature in D.C. It's important that Washington proves to the American people that, when we share common goals, we can deliver results."

On Wednesday, July 14, Governor Scott met with President Biden, Vice President Harris, the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor and a small bipartisan group of governors and mayors at the White House to discuss the BIF and its benefits.

Joint Resolution Supporting President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework

Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) and the Vermont Mayors Coalition on Tuesday joined more than 400 municipal leaders from across the country in calling for Congress to take action on an infrastructure package that invests in cities, towns and villages to keep America moving and create jobs in Vermont. The two organizations issued a joint resolution that strongly supports President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and urges Congress to pass it without delay. The U.S. Senate is actively negotiating the infrastructure package this week.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Vermont a "C" grade on its most recent infrastructure report card. Significant investments are needed to improve that grade – $643 million alone is required to address the state's drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. Funding to pay for such improvements can only come from the federal government.

VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady said: "We look forward to working with our delegation, Senators Sanders and Leahy and Congressman Welch to secure passage of a bipartisan recovery package that creates a transformational and much needed investment in infrastructure, workforce, and community resilience both here in Vermont and across the country."

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework would invest in rebuilt and expanded transportation, water and wastewater, and broadband infrastructure; increase reliability and the use of technology to ensure sustainable and resilient systems; invest in environmental remediation and climate resiliency; and create an Infrastructure Financing Authority to pay for clean transportation and energy. Directing those investments to asset owners at the local level would streamline their deployment and eliminate bureaucratic delays.

Click HERE to read the resolution.

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Governor Phil Scott, Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the Vermont Mayors Coalition Urge Congress to Pass Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/336895

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