Brown: We Need Real Infrastructure Investment, Not Fees and Tolls on Working Ohioans

Senator Released Detailed Infrastructure Blueprint in January to Hold Trump to his Commitment to Invest $1 Trillion in Infrastructure, Create Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has offered to work with President Trump on Trump’s promise to invest $1 trillion in our nation’s infrastructure and put Ohioans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges. Ahead of Trump’s stop in Cincinnati to highlight infrastructure, Brown is fighting for Ohio infrastructure priorities outlined in a plan he released in January to invest in our infrastructure and use American products and labor to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.

“I will judge any infrastructure package by whether it’s good for Ohio. What we’ve seen from the President so far falls short,” said Brown. “We need the real, meaningful investments the President promised on the campaign trail, not handouts to Wall Street or fees and tolls on working families.

Trump’s $200 billion funding proposal for infrastructure is essentially wiped out by more than $200 billion in cuts to existing programs proposed in his budget. Brown pointed out that the President’s infrastructure budget makes no mention of Buy America provisions he promised on the campaign trail. Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation in January to apply Buy America to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects.

Brown helped draft a proposal that he and his Democratic colleagues released in January titled, “A Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure.” The proposal aimed to start the conversation about how the $1 trillion President Donald Trump has promised to invest in American infrastructure would improve the nation’s transportation, water, housing and community infrastructure while creating thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs in Ohio.

Ohio has one of the nation’s largest interstate systems and a major public transit network that would benefit from nationwide investment in infrastructure.

  • Ohio has the nation’s fourth largest interstate system with 6,700 lane miles.
  • Ohio’s public transportation agencies serve more than 300,000 passengers every weekday.
  • Nearly a quarter of Ohio’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • An estimated 109,000 Ohioans work in highway construction in the state.
  • An estimated $14 billion will need to be spent to keep Ohio’s wastewater systems up to date over the next 20 years.

Brown’s proposal includes several Ohio priorities:

 

Buy America

The plan would apply Buy America to all taxpayer-funded public works and infrastructure projects to ensure that American tax dollars support American materials and jobs.

Brown and Portman introduced legislation to this effect.

 

Fixing Ohio Roads and Bridges

The plan calls for $210 billion for road and bridge repairs and $200 billion for a Vital Infrastructure Program (VIP), which would direct money toward projects of critical national significance.

Brown has long fought for the repair of the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, which President Trump has promised to replace. In the 2015 transportation package, Brown successfully fought to include a provision that create a new competitive grant program to fund major infrastructure projects, like Brent Spence Bridge.

 

Updating Outdated Sewer Systems

The plan calls for $110 billion to modernize outdated water and sewer systems.

For several years, Brown has worked on legislation that would provide communities with grants to help make needed updates to combined sewer overflow systems. This would protect Lake Erie and other drinking water from untreated waste and ensure that ratepayers do not face costly rate hikes. According to a recent report to Congress, Ohio needs a more than $14 billion investment in its clean water systems over the next 20 years.

Improving Public Transportation

The plan calls for $130 billion to replace and expand rail and bus systems.

As ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee – which oversees public transit – Brown has worked to boost federal funding for public transit. Ohio’s public transportation agencies serve more than 300,000 passengers every weekday. Sixty percent of Ohio’s buses will need to be replaced over the next 10 years, an expense of $750 million. Cleveland’s rail system alone would require $400 million to replace its fleet of rail cars and repair its tracks.

Eliminating Blight & Lead Hazards

The plan includes $100 billion to address affordable housing challenges, eliminate blighted properties that bring down local property values, and remediate lead hazards that put children at risk of lead poisoning.

Brown has led efforts to protect Ohio children from lead exposure and worked to boost funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for monitoring and remediation.

Brown has also been instrumental in strengthening the Hardest Hit Fund, which gives communities funding to prevent foreclosure and demolish blighted properties.

Brown has advocated for funding to preserve and create affordable housing and worked to strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.  

Rebuilding America’s Schools

The plan includes $75 billion to help modernize America’s schools without burdening local taxpayers.

Brown has worked on legislation to give schools the ability to make needed renovations, technology updates, and repairs.

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