What Does Alaska Need From The American Jobs Plan?
A few weeks ago president Biden released his American Jobs Plan to make the infrastructure better and get Americans back to work. The price tag for this plan is nearly 2.3 trillion dollars. While this is being negotiated in Congress to try and get this passed President Biden said he is willing to negotiate, but he’s not going to accept doing nothing to fix our infrastructure.
The White House released a state by state plan that highlights what needs to be done in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. The fact sheets highlight how many roads and bridges need repairs, percentage of those without broadband internet, and many other things.
In this article we are going to focus specifically on the state of Alaska and what needs to be done in the state to make it better. When looking at the overall infrastructure, it earned a C- from the infrastructure report card.
According to the fact sheet, in the state of Alaska there are 141 bridges and over 571 miles of highway in poor condition needing repairs. Since the year 2011, travel in the state of Alaska is up 7.2%, and on average residents in Alaska need to spend 402 dollars on repairs to their vehicles due to roads in poor condition.
Residents who use public transportation spend an extra 120% of their time commuting. 14% of the trains in operations in Alaska are past their usable lifespan.
In the past 10 years, Alaska has had two major storms, costing the state over one billion dollars in repairs. When looking at Alaska’s drinking water, the fact sheet says it will cost the state of Alaska at least 987 million dollars to make the water healthy to drink.
Due to a lack of housing in the State of Alaska, there are over 37,000 renters burdened, meaning 30% or more of their paycheck goes to paying rent. Another 6–8% of Alaskans’ income goes to their electric bills each month.
Broadband internet is a big part of the American Jobs Plan. In Alaska, 24.5% of residents have no broadband internet or are without reliable speeds. Beyond that, 68.8% of Alaskans are left with the option of just one internet company to choose from. In the areas where there is reliable broadband connection, 12% of the population does not have an internet subscription.
Child care is an important piece of the American Jobs plan. In Alaska there is about a 121 million dollar gap between the money schools have and the necessary amount of money they need for maintenance and repairs. Also in the state, 61% of residents don’t have access to childcare.
Manufacturing accounts for 3% of total output in Alaska. This employs about 13,000 people, which accounts for 4% of the workforce in the state. Clean energy jobs employ 5,282 people. Alaska is home to 69,000 veterans. 13.8% are women and 29.7% are age 65 or older.
To see what is exactly in the bill and how much money goes to each section, listen to this episode of Blind Boys Politics.