What does North Carolina 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, the percentage of those without broadband internet, and many other things.
In this article we are going to focus specifically on the state of North Carolina 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, there are 1,460 bridges and more than 3,116 miles of highway in need of repairs. Since 2011, the time residents spend commuting has increased by 10.7%, and on average, drivers spend 500 dollars per year on repairs to their vehicles due to the poor conditions of the roads.
Public transportation is also discussed here. North Carolina residents are spending an extra 59.9% of their time commuting. Along with this, non-white households are 3.4 times more likely to use public transportation as their main means of commuting. 15% of the trains and other transit vehicles in North Carolina have passed their usable lifespan.
Over the past 10 years, North Carolina has experienced 42 extreme weather events, which has cost the state up to 50 billion dollars in damages. In order for North Carolina to have clean drinking water within the next 20 years, they require 16.8 billion dollars in additional funding.
Broadband is a key part of this infrastructure bill. 6.5% of the residents in North Carolina live in areas where there is no reliable broadband internet. 56.3% of residents live in areas where there is only one company that provides reliable internet. Reliable internet could very well be too expensive for some, as 14% of households in the state are without an internet subscription.
North Carolina is experiencing a lack of available and affordable housing, which is in part causing 632,000 renters to be rent burdened, meaning that more than 30% of their paycheck is going towards paying rent. An average low-income family in the state is spending 8–10% of their paycheck on electricity costs.
Childcare is another part of the American Jobs Plan. In North Carolina, 44% of residents live in areas where childcare is not available to them. There is an estimated 660 million-dollar gap between the money schools have to make necessary upgrades and repairs and the amount of money that is actually required to make those repairs.
Manufacturing accounts for 18% of the total output in North Carolina, employing 473,000 workers. This is equal to about 10.4% of the state’s workforce. In 2019, 112,720 residents were employed in the field of clean energy. North Carolina is home to more than 700,000 veterans, 11.3% of them being women, and 41.77% of them being over the age of 65.
To see what is exactly in the bill and how much money is in each section, listen to this episode of Blind Boys Politics.