Since day one in office, President Biden has focused on providing America’s small businesses with the tools and resources they need to reopen, rehire, and build back better. To-date, the Biden-Harris Administration has distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses.
President Biden’s efforts have not only helped millions of Main Street businesses keep their lights on and employees on payroll, they have enabled a remarkable rebound in small business activity, with small business demand for labor and inventories near record highs. According to a leading survey of small business owners, the share of small businesses planning to create new jobs in the next three months is higher than it ever was at any point during the previous Administration. Another recent survey of small business owners found that 71 percent are optimistic about their own performance in 2022, up from 63 percent one year ago. The broader economic recovery – one of the fastest on record – has also helped spur a surge in entrepreneurship. Americans are applying to start new businesses at a record rate, up about 30 percent compared to before the pandemic.
The historically high level of new business applications has taken place amidst the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic bottom-up approach to economic recovery. Soon after taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration enacted the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which provided direct relief to families and small businesses and supported the vaccination of more than 200 million Americans. Through the combination of ARP investments and existing emergency relief programs, the Biden-Harris Administration distributed more than $400 billion in critical relief to more than 6 million small businesses. The ARP also provided thousands of entrepreneurs with the personal and financial security to launch their own business. This support included $1,400 per-person Economic Impact Payments, expanded Child Tax Credit payments of up to $300 per child per month, Affordable Care Act credits and COBRA premium support to ensure health care coverage remained available, and an expansion of the Employer Retention Credit, including expanding eligibility to recent startups.
Despite the historic progress made to-date, the Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to helping America’s new small businesses grow, create jobs, and provide the essential goods and services our communities depend on. Specifically, the Biden-Harris Administration is:Expanding access to low cost loans and investments. The Treasury Department is working with all states and territories plus 400 Tribal governments on standing up small business lending and investment programs as part of the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) established through the ARP. and By this summer, the first wave of programs will launch, unlocking billions of dollars in new lending and investment capital for small businesses in big cities and small towns all across America. Small businesses can also continue to access the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) traditional 7a, 504, and microloan programs, which collectively reached record high loan volume in Fiscal Year 2021 by providing $44.8 billion through more than 61,000 loans.
Increasing access to billions of dollars in federal contracts for small businesses. Last year, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its strategy for increasing the share of federal procurement dollars that go to socially disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2025. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes a historic procurement effort designed to support small businesses and tackle long standing inequities in the contracting system. Among other things, the legislation directs DOT to attempt to award more than $37 billion in federal contracts to small disadvantaged business contractors.
Helping small businesses hire new employees and reach new customers by providing universal broadband. Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs and increasingly important for small business owners all across America. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $65 billion in broadband infrastructure, helping ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet and creating new opportunities for small businesses nationwide.
12 States Set New Records on Low Unemployment as National Rate Fell to 3.9%
Meanwhile, new employment data continues to show that the labor market has improved under President Biden, with 42 states reporting drops in unemployment in December and 12 states reaching record lows. No states experienced a decline in employment. Year-over-year payroll figures have now increased in 48 states and DC.
“Thanks to the President’s economic plan and his success in getting Americans vaccinated, the unemployment rate nationally dropped to 3.9% – four years earlier than expected, wages are up, and 6.4 million jobs have been created – the most in any one year on record. The President’s economic strategy is working: strengthening our economic growth and creating millions of jobs across the country,” the White House stated.
On the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris issued a statement asserting their commitment to protecting women’s reproductive freedom:
The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago today is under assault as never before. It is a right we believe should be codified into law, and we pledge to defend it with every tool we possess. We are deeply committed to protecting access to health care, including reproductive health care—and to ensuring that this country is not pushed backwards on women’s equality.
In recent years, we have seen efforts to restrict access to reproductive health care increase at an alarming rate. In Texas, Mississippi, and many other states around the country, access to reproductive health care is under attack. These state restrictions constrain the freedom of all women. And they are particularly devastating for those who have fewer options and fewer resources, such as those in underserved communities, including communities of color and many in rural areas.
The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports efforts to codify Roe, and we will continue to work with Congress on the Women’s Health Protection Act. All people deserve access to reproductive health care regardless of their gender, income, race, zip code, health insurance status, immigration status, disability, or sexual orientation. And the continued defense of this constitutional right is essential to our health, safety, and progress as a nation.
We must ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have the same fundamental rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won on this day, 49 years ago—including leaders like the late Sarah Weddington, whose successful arguments before the Supreme Court led to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
At this pivotal moment, we recommit to strengthening access to critical reproductive health care, defending the constitutional right established by Roe, and protecting the freedom of all people to build their own future.
The Vice President recorded a video message reiterating our administration’s commitment to protecting constitutional rights. “Roe v. Wade advanced women’s equality and that case saved women’s lives,” Harris says in the video. Read the Full Exclusive Here
HHS Secretary Becerra Takes Action to Protect Reproductive Health Care
New Task Force Launched on Eve of Roe v. Wade Anniversary
The task force includes subject matter experts from across the department. The HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs will serve as the co-chairs of this coordinating body. The task force’s primary goal is to facilitate collaborative, innovative, transparent, equitable, and action-oriented approaches to protect and bolster sexual and reproductive health.
“As we commemorate the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we recommit to protecting and strengthening access to reproductive health care, including the right to safe and legal abortion care that the Supreme Court has recognized for decades,” said Secretary Becerra. “Patients have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. In light of restrictive laws across the nation, HHS will evaluate the impact on patients and our communities. That’s why today, I have launched the first Intra-agency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access. Once again, we are telling health care providers and patients, we have your back.”
“Across America, we must protect access to sexual and reproductive health,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, MD. “Establishing a new task force dedicated to this critical public health topic will advance policies that improve reproductive health care access within Federal programs and services, eliminate health disparities, and expand access to culturally competent health care services for underserved communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, young people, LGBTQI+ people, and others.”
“Advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights is central to our core global health goals, including our focus on addressing health inequities and expanding access to universal health coverage,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace. “In order to build back better in the U.S. and around the world, we must ensure that all people can access high quality health care, including sexual and reproductive health care services.”
HHS has taken several meaningful actions under the Biden-Harris Administration to protect and bolster reproductive health, rights, and justice, including:
The Department issued a new final rule for Title X, the nation’s family planning program, to ensure access to equitable, affordable, client-centered, quality family planning services.
The Department announced $6.6 million through the Title X family planning program to address the demand for family planning services where restrictive laws and policies have impacted reproductive health access, or in states where there is a lack of or limited Title X access.
The Department has advanced maternal health priorities, including expanding access to postpartum Medicaid coverage, rural health care services, and implicit bias training.
The Department has issued guidance on both nondiscrimination requirements of the Church Amendments protecting health care providers through its Office for Civil Rights and providers’ legal obligations and protections under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide medical treatment to a pregnant patient who presents to the emergency department regardless of conflicting state laws or mandates that might seek to prevent such treatment.
On the occasion of President Joe Biden’s address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, January 21, the White House issued a fact sheet detailing some of the ways the Biden-Harris Administration is working with Mayors to deliver for communities across the country, and what passing the Build Back Better agenda could mean:
Getting Shots in Arms and Saving Lives Since the start of his Administration, President Biden has prioritized local partnerships and has worked closely with mayors across the country who have been instrumental as trusted sources of information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.
Working with local governments, the Administration has shipped over 160 million pieces of personal protective equipment – gloves, gowns, masks – to protect frontline health care workers in cities across the United States. Since first launching surge response teams on July 1st, the Administration has deployed over 3,000 personnel to 39 states and 4 U.S. territories. The Administration also recently worked with several mayors and local jurisdictions to surge federal testing support and federal test sites to several cities.
Over 115 mayors across the country joined the White House, HHS, and We Can Do This campaign to launch a Mayors Challenge to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations. This campaign was instrumental in increasing the adult vaccination rate through mayors sharing best practices and launching innovative efforts to boost vaccinations, including grassroots outreach, mobile and neighborhood vaccine clinics, incentives, prizes, and other efforts.
Richmond, VA Mayor Levar Stoney as co-lead of the Mayors Challenge, launched the #HotVaccinatedSummer campaign with the Richmond Health Department focused on taking the vaccine to residents through mobile vaccination units, pop-up vaccine sites at grocery stores, food pantries, apartment complexes, and churches, and neighborhood block parties.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, mayors of Louisiana’s two largest cities, launched a month-long, inter-city “New Orleans vs Baton Rouge COVID challenge” to motivate citizens to get vaccinated.
Detroit, MI Mayor Mike Duggan launched an innovative “Good Neighbor Program” where residents received gift cards for driving their neighbors to get vaccinated, as well as a door-to-door vaccination education canvassing effort.
San Antonio, TX Mayor Ron Nirenberg along with making pop-up vaccine clinics accessible, collaborated with local artists to create murals reminding residents of the importance of getting vaccinated.
Getting People Back to Work President Biden has grown the economy faster than any first-year administration ever with 6.4 million jobs added, the most in one year on record. The unemployment rate is 3.9% – four years faster than projected because of the American Rescue Plan. The Biden-Harris agenda has provided substantial resources to state and local governments to expand and improve America’s workforce development system so that workers of all kinds from diverse communities will be prepared and successful in good-paying union jobs.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included $350 billion in state and local fiscal recovery funds that governments can use to assist workers who want and are available to work – including job training, public jobs programs, job fairs, childcare, transportation, hiring bonuses, and subsidized employment efforts). The ARP also invested $3 billion in the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist communities in their efforts to build back better from the pandemic, including $1 billion for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge and $500 million for a Good Jobs Challenge that will support sector partnerships that bring employers, unions, non-profits, community colleges, training providers, and local governments together to enhance local training and hiring efforts.
Building Bridges to Infrastructure Jobs:
Washington, DC is using ARP resources to expand the city’s Infrastructure Academy to ensure a diverse workforce is ready to fill the infrastructure jobs that will be created by the historic bipartisan infrastructure law.
Milwaukee, WI has dedicated ARP funds to launch a lead abatement workforce development program and an Earn and Learn program which assists young people entering manufacturing and other high-skill jobs.
Phoenix, AZ is using Rescue Plan funds to partner with local community colleges and the private sector on job training programs that not only will re-skill and re-employ individuals for new careers in high demand workforce areas, such as manufacturing, construction, and the region’s emerging semiconductor industry.
Supporting our Essential Education Workers:
Seattle, WA used ARP fiscal recovery funds to provide premium pay for local child care workers, up to $835 per worker who have been there for at least 6 months.
Bolstering our Health Care Workforce:
Chicago, IL is leveraging ARP funds to build a 2,200 public health workforce working as vaccine ambassadors and addressing vaccine resistance.
New York City is dedicating ARP funds to bolster their public health workforce through the New York City Public Health Corps program, which will focus on a range of public health needs – from vaccine access, to primary care, to mental health counseling.
Building a Better America Since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration has hit the ground running with a focus on fostering strong partnerships and working with mayors to implement the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling road and bridges, replace lead pipes, help provide high-speed internet to every family in America, and produce concrete results that change people’s lives for the better. These results will create good-paying, union jobs, support domestic manufacturing and supply chains, and position the United States to win the 21st century. As the Administration implements the law, it is following through on President Biden’s commitment to ensure investments advance equity and racial justice, reach communities all across the country – including rural communities, communities of color, and disability communities – and strengthen the nation’s resilience to climate change. Since the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden Administration has it the ground running. Some of the key actions since the law’s passage include:
Understanding the importance of strong partnership with local governments to deliver results on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the White House appointed Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans and former President of the US Conference of Mayors, as Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $27 billion in funding to replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country over the next five years, including many locally-owned “off system” bridges.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will invest more than $14 billion of funding for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change.
USDOT awarded $1 billion in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants to invest in 90 major projects across 47 states funding that will be boosted by an additional $7.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at USDOT announced $3 billion for 3,075 airports across the country that can use investments to upgrade critical infrastructure.
The Vice President announced the Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, which includes action items focused on collaboration with local partners to accelerate the replacement of lead pipes over the next decade. As part of this plan, EPA announced $7.4 billion in funding allocations for states to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, and more.
The Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program providing broadband subsidies of up to $30/month for low-income households (up to $75/month for households on Tribal Lands) and up to $100 towards the purchase of a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.
EPA announced $1 billion in funding to clean up 49 Superfund sites across 24 states to accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and create good-paying jobs.
The Department of the Interior released initial guidance for the states interested in applying for funding to cap and plug orphaned oil and gas wells that reduce methane emissions and create jobs, with 26 states expressing interest in a portion of the $4.7 billion in funding for well plugging, remediation and restoration available in infrastructure programs.
The Department of Energy launched a new Building a Better Grid initiative to accelerate the deployment of new transition lines, and it released a notice of intent to inform the design and implementation of this historic investment.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes billions of dollars in competitive funding available to cities, towns, and municipalities across dozens of new and existing programs. As local governments begin to rebuild and reinvest in their communities, the Biden-Harris Administration stands ready to support local leaders as they combine funding streams, organize around their priorities, and build local support for long overdue infrastructure projects. The White House released a fact sheet highlights 25 already available or soon-to-be-available sources of funding that local governments – particularly cities – can compete or apply for directly. The White House will also be releasing a comprehensive guidebook of all available funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in the coming weeks.
Addressing Supply Chain Blockages As our economy has turned back on from the unprecedented shutdown resulting from the pandemic, our supply chains have been strained. The Administration is working closely with mayors and local governments across the country to mitigate supply chain blockages and ensure shelves are stocked.
The Administration’s port envoy has held weekly meetings with city-owned ports, including the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, to identify ways to reduce congestion and move toward 24/7 operations, which reduces the emissions and traffic in communities.
The Department of Transportation awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grants to improve ports facilities and address supply chain disruptions in 19 cities, including Houston, TX; Brunswick, GA; Bay St Louis, MS; Tell City, IN; Alpena, MI; Delcambre, LA; Oakland, CA; Portsmouth, VA; Tacoma, WA; and Long Beach, CA.
The Administration is working to help schools experiencing challenges purchasing and reliably obtaining food for their meal plans. USDA has committed $1.5 billion for schools and states to purchase foods including funding to purchase local foods from historically underserved producers and announced an adjustment in school meal reimbursements that put an estimated $750 million more into school meal programs across the nation this year.
Advancing Local Climate Action On Day One, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement, reestablished U.S. leadership, and renewed the federal government’s partnership with the states, cities, Tribes, and localities that carried forward America’s progress on climate. Since then, President Biden has deployed clean wind and solar energy across the country, jumpstarted an electric vehicle future that will be built in America, advanced environmental justice in underserved communities, and taken aggressive action to make our country more resilient to climate change and extreme weather.
Today, President Biden will announce how the Biden-Harris Administration is teaming up with states, cities, labor, and industry to launch the Building Performance Standards Coalition, a first-of-its-kind partnership between 33 state and local governments dedicated to delivering cleaner, healthier, and more affordable buildings. States and cities part of the coalition will design and implement building performance standards that create good paying union jobs, lower the cost of energy bills for consumers, keep residents and workers safe from harmful pollution, and cut emissions from the building sector.
The Administration is also empowering local leaders to advance climate solutions across other sectors—for example:
The Department of Energy set a new National Community Solar Partnership target of powering 5 million homes by 2025, with on-demand technical assistance available to local governments, and launched the SolarAPP+ tool to help them speed up permitting of rooftop solar installations.
The Department of Transportation announced $182 million in grants for transit agencies to deploy zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including awards to the Chicago Transit Authority; Anaheim, CA; Fort Collins, CO; Lawrence, KS; Jackson, MS; Fayetteville, NC; Lincoln, NE; Norman, OK; and more.
The EPA announced $50 million for environmental justice initiatives using ARP funds, including water infrastructure job training in Baltimore, MD; indoor air quality improvements in Fort Collins, CO; and outreach on asthma and environmental hazards in Hartford, CT.
FEMA announced $1 billion for the FY2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, available for cities and other levels of government to proactively invest in community resilience to hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.
In November 2021, President Biden and 15 bipartisan mayors representing communities across the country participated in COP26, where the President announced bold plans to reduce methane emissions, create clean energy jobs, and build back better with infrastructure initiatives that advance prosperity and combat the climate crisis.
Addressing Gun Violence and Crime During the President’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Administration has partnered with mayors across the country on actions to reduce gun violence and has provided historic levels of funding for community-oriented policing and expanding community violence interventions (CVI) – neighborhood-based programs proven to combat gun violence. The Administration has made historic levels of funding from the American Rescue Plan – including $350 billion in state and local funding – available to state and local governments for law enforcement purposes to advance community policing strategies and community violence interventions.
Working with 16-jurisdictions, the White House launched the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative, a cohort of mayors, law enforcement, CVI experts and philanthropic organizations committed to using ARP funding to increase investment in their community violence intervention infrastructure and share best practices.
Cities including Milwaukee, WI; Albuquerque, NM; Syracuse, NY; and Mobile, AL responded to the President’s call by committing and deploying ARP funds for advancing community-oriented policing.
Mayors from cities across the country including Seattle, WA; Buffalo, NY; and Atlanta, GA have committed to deploy ARP fund for community violence interventions following a memo from Senior White House advisors on how state and local officials can implement ARP funding into CVI work.
Cities across the country including St. Louis, MO and Tucson, AZ committed to investing ARP funding in public safety strategies such as summer jobs for young adults and substance abuse and mental health services.
Prevent Housing Instability and Homelessness During the President’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Administration partnered with mayors across the country to keep Americans housed. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included over $21 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. These funds, together with $25 billion signed into law under the previous Administration but implemented under this Administration, enabled households to catch up on rent and avoid evictions. State and local grantees obligated over $25 billion in ERA in 2021, and these funds contributed to a historically low eviction filing rate. Also included within ARP were $5 billion in supplemental funding for HOME, which enables state and local governments to create and preserve affordable housing, and $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers to help people experiencing and at risk of homelessness secure housing.
In June, 46 cities joined the White House to create eviction prevention action plans as part of a first-of-its-kind summit. More than 100 eviction diversion programs were created or expanded as part of this partnership with the White House and local leaders.
Mayors from Louisville, Milwaukee, San Antonio, and Boston shared best practices in subsequent White House events including strategies to prevent evictions and distribute rental assistance to renters and landlords in need.
Dozens of mayors have signed onto House America, a federal initiative aimed at maximizing the ARP resources to address homelessness. The goal of this initiative is to cumulatively re-house 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and add 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by the end of 2022.
Building an Orderly, Fair, and Humane Immigration System The Biden-Harris Administration is working to build a humane, orderly, and fair 21st century immigration system at the border and beyond. One that invests in smart technology and infrastructure at the border, that prioritizes our resources and values immigrants living in our country and contributing to our communities for generations, and that once again welcomes refugees and is a beacon of light for those seeking safe haven.
Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration took steps to undo the wrongdoings of the previous Administration, including getting rid of the Muslim ban, taking steps to protect DACA recipients, and restoring our asylum system. On day one, President Biden also sent his immigration bill to Congress – The U.S. Citizenship Act – which laid out the components needed to build an updated immigration system that reflects our values and responds to our hemisphere’s current needs.
Working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and non-profit organizations in Mexico and the United States, the Administration assisted 13,000 people in the wind down of the Migrant Protection Protocol to fight their cases in the United States. The Administration also designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti, Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Burma, and expanded to El Salvador and Honduras.
The President tasked Vice President Harris with leading efforts to address the root causes of migration from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The Vice President announced $310 million in urgent humanitarian relief in April 2021, in addition to the President’s FY22 budget request for $861 million for Central America. The Vice President also secured $1.2 billion from the private sector to create job programs and invest in the economic stability and prosperity for our partner countries. In addition to the work the Vice President is leading, the Administration is working with countries in South America and leaders in the hemisphere to address migration as a regional issue that necessitates regional leadership and a regional response.
The Administration remains committed to immigration reform, to restoring asylum, and to working with partners to ensure the safety, security, and dignity of immigrants in the region:
Engaged mayors and cities to amplify the broad sweeping impact President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act would have on all 11 million undocumented immigrants, including farm workers and individuals with Temporary Protected Status.
Partnered with cities including San Diego, Long Beach, Pomona, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to stand up Emergency Influx Sites to provide temporary shelter and care for thousands of unaccompanied children.
Awarded $110 million in supplemental humanitarian funding to the National Board for Emergency Food and Shelter Program eligible to cities and services providers providing humanitarian assistance to migrants at the southern border.
Regularly engaged bipartisan border mayors to discuss and coordinate rebuilding America’s border management and asylum systems that were previously gutted by the prior administration. Additionally, engaged local elected leaders in the Rio Grande Valley, San Diego, and El Centro border sectors to protect border communities from the physical dangers resulting from the previous administration’s approach to border wall construction.
Welcoming Refugees and Resettlement Efforts The Biden-Harris Administration has taken a whole-of-America approach to safely, securely, and effectively welcome more than 76,000 Afghan allies to the United States through the Operation Allies Welcome.
In close coordination with Departments and Agencies across the Federal government, the Administration has worked with state and local officials; refugee resettlement organizations; veterans; faith, private sector, and non-profit leaders to ensure Afghans are set up for success in their new communities. The White House Operation Allies Welcome team provided briefings to USCM and visited resettlement sites in six states to engage with local officials and stakeholders on the frontlines of welcoming our Afghan allies. In his capacity as OAW Coordinator, Jack Markell attended the 2021 USCM Summer Meeting in Dayton, Ohio to brief mayors on their important role in the resettlement effort.
USCM Past President Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin led the effort for USCM’s resolution in support of Afghan resettlement and welcomed briefings from senior Administration officials to keep mayors updated on resettlement efforts
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner worked with local resettlement agencies to raise more than $8.5 million dollars for the Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund (HARF) to help the local resettlement agencies provide additional services for Afghan evacuees
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt collaborated with the local resettlement agency to identify additional funding stream to for affordable housing for Afghan evacuees
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor worked with the local school district to ensure a warm welcome to arriving Afghans students and families.
Sacramento Mayor Darryl Steinberg coordinated with state, county, and local leaders to create a new coalition called the American Network of Services for Afghanistan Refugees (ANSAR) to assist in meeting the needs of Afghan families.
In addition to President Biden, ten members of the President’s Cabinet spoke at the USCM Winter Meeting, including Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and EPA Administrator Regan. Senior Administration officials including ARP Coordinator Gene Sperling, Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Rodriguez will also speak at the event.
On January 21, President Biden addressed over 200 bipartisan mayors during their annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting. This was the President’s first time addressing the entire USCM since taking office. At this year’s convening, the President highlighted the strong partnership between his Administration and mayors during the past year to tackle unprecedented crises, rebuild the economy, and deliver results for working families. The President also discussed ways to further partner with cities on implementing the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the importance of passing the Build Back Better Act.
Here is an edited transcript of President Biden’s remarks:
Mayors carry the quality of the people’s lives on your shoulders.
Everything you do every day affects their lives more than almost anything anybody else does. And you can make or break a person’s day. “Will the bus get me home on time?” It sounds silly but, “Will the garbage get be picked up?” “Will I be safe walking in the park?”
These are the bigger questions: “Can I afford to give my family a good life?” “Will my kids have a chance to get a good job someday?” “How will I rebuild from the fire or the storm?”
You know, all of these questions, they’re not partisan, but they’re practical. People they look to are you…
That’s why, when I put together my Cabinet, I called on former mayors –Tom Vilsack was a governor; he was also a mayor. Marcia Fudge, a mayor. Marty Walsh a mayor in Boston. Pete Buttigieg was a mayor. And I picked Mitch Landrieu to oversee the implementation of the infrastructure law, which is over a $1.2 trillion, because he knows how mayors get things done. (Applause.) .. Because mayors know the measure of success isn’t scoring partisan points, it’s did you fix the problem…
The infrastructure law is a perfect example of what we can achieve when we tackle problems the way mayors do. Everybody in America knows we’ve fallen behind on infrastructure. So we came together — Democrats and Republicans — and did something about it…
And, by the way, I want to thank you all. More than 360 of you signed a letter that was sent to me when we were trying to get this legislation passed. Three hundred and sixty of you. You lobbied Congress to get it done, and it’s the reason it got done…
And now, after years of dead-ends and broken promises, not only has “Infrastructure Week” finally arrived — (applause) — but we can literally, because of you, look forward to an “Infrastructure Decade.”…
We’ve announced billions of dollars for highways, ports, airports, water and sewage systems, high-speed Internet; funding to clean up the rivers in Ohio, chemical plants and sites in Florida, polluted lakes in Michigan and dozens of other sites; a new program to cap and plug orphaned oil and gas wells spewing methane into the air, cleaning up the communities that, in fact, they’re affecting, while [creating] good-paying jobs…
A new initiative to bolster our energy grid with stronger transmission lines and towers to keep the power flowing more reliably and, consequentially, more secure energy supply…
You know, more forest, homes, buildings, and businesses have been burned to the ground than make up — if you’re taking the square miles — than the entire state of New Jersey, from New York all the way down to Cape Henlopen. That’s how much has burned to the ground. A lot of it because of the lack of resilience in those towers that get blown over and the wires snap…
Last week, we rolled out a historic investments in our nation’s bridges, like the one I visited in New Hampshire, where restrictions forced school buses and fire trucks to go 10 miles out of their way just to get across a small river…
We’re going to upgrade thousands of bridges, creating good-paying jobs, cutting commute times, ensuring that as we build back, no community gets left behind.
Folks, that mayor’s view of problem-solving is exactly what we brought to the American Rescue Plan. It’s designed so that you’d be able to have the resources and the flexibility to take both the short-term and long-term challenges created by this pandemic. A major part of the Rescue Plan was the $350 billion we allocated to state and local budgets. And again, because of you, over $100 billion of that went directly to cities and counties, not through anybody. (Applause.) A hundred billion.
It was not easy to get done, but it was important to get done because you know it’s needed. You didn’t have to go through your state legislature — or your governor – to get the money.
Today, communities are still putting those funds to work — keeping people on the job, connecting people to better jobs…
Use your funds to cover childcare costs or temporary paid leave to help certain workers dealing with Omicron; to build pathways to better jobs through union-based apprenticeships and on-the-job training; to give people in every ZIP code a chance to deal for themselves and deal them into this booming economy.
That also means building more affordable housing so people can have safe places closer to their jobs.
Funding proven programs to help fight violent crime. We shouldn’t be cutting funding for police departments. I proposed increasing funding…
The truth is we have an incredible opportunity ahead of us this year. We still have a lot of work to do to defeat COVID, to bring down costs for families.
But just look at what we’ve accomplished together so far, even in the face of those headwinds.
In 2021, more jobs are created in America than ever in a single year in American history. More jobs — over 6 million. The unemployment rate dropped more than any year in American history. (Applause.)
Income — incomes for folks working frontline jobs in service industries rose more than any year in history — the folks at the bottom of the economic rung.
We lowered child poverty in this country by nearly 40 percent — more than any time in U.S. history. (Applause.)
You all know this: Business applications grew by nearly 30 percent last year — more than any year in history. If they’re saying everything is so bad, why are people fighting to open businesses?
More Americans gained health insurance than any year in history.
These are facts.
To confront the climate crisis, we deployed more solar wind, batteries, and electric vehicles than ever, ever before.
And we’re teaming up with mayors, labor, and industry to save families and businesses money by improving energy efficiency in our buildings.
And in the battle against the deadly virus, we’ve gone from putting 2 million shots — vaccinations – in people’s arms to 210 million Americans fully vaccinated. (Applause.)
And you mayors have been critical partners…
And we still face tremendous challenges, though. But together, we’ve proven that we can get big things done in this country.
Last year, with your help, we laid the groundwork. This year, we have to build it. The biggest weapon in our arsenal is the Build Back Better Act. Nothing is going to do more to ease pressure on families…
Every mayor knows if people can’t find and afford childcare, they can’t work. (Applause.) Some of your cities, it’s 14-, 15,000 bucks a year for childcare. That’s why we have nearly 1.2 million extremely qualified women who haven’t been able to return to the workforce.
We can cut the cost of childcare in half and fix that problem.
Health insurance: We can reduce the cost for families — and we’ve done for $600 per year.
On climate: Extreme weather disasters cost communities $145 billion last year. That’s how much we spent because of weather-related crises. $145 billion. By investing in resilience and clean energy technology, we can do something about that.
To give relief to families, in the American Rescue Plan we had the Childcare Tax Credit. That did reduce child poverty by 40 percent. There’s no reason it shouldn’t continue. (Applause.)
And on education — on education: Today, about half of the three- and four-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education…
We can do this and more on healthcare, nutrition, and a host of other issues.
And, folks, here’s the point: We can do it without increasing inflation or the deficit.
Seventeen Nobel laureates in economics wrote a letter to me recently, affirming that this bill would reduce inflationary pressures on the economy, not increase — reduce it. (Applause.)
And by the way — by the way, it’s entirely paid for. (Applause.) Every single penny. (Applause.) And not a single person making less than $400,000 a year will pay a single additional penny in federal taxes. Not a single penny. (Applause.)
And, by the way, I’m a capitalist. I’m not a socialist. If you can make $1 billion or $10 million, good for you. Just begin to pay your fair share. Pay a little bit. (Applause.)
We can pay for all this by just making sure that the wealthy — making sure that the wealthy and the biggest corporations pay their fair share…
Look, we can tackle all these challenges just like we did with the Rescue Plan, the infrastructure law, and the fight against COVID, but we can’t do it without you…
You understand the cost if we fail to act. We need the voice of mayors telling the stories of what your communities need, and the impact we’re making on people’s lives or not making. If we can get this done — I believe this with every fiber of my being: If we can get this done, there’s no limit what Americans can achieve. So, let’s continue to give working families a fighting chance.
Intel Announces $20 Billion Ohio Facility; Latest Company to Invest in U.S., Strengthen Domestic Supply Chains
The White House released this fact sheet about how the Biden Administration is bringing semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States:
Semiconductors are an essential building block in the goods and products that Americans use every day. These computer chips are critical to a range of sectors and products from cars to smartphones to medical equipment and even vacuum cleaners. They help power our infrastructure from our grid to our broadband. The United States used to lead the world in global semiconductor manufacturing. But in recent decades, the U.S. lost its edge—our share of global semiconductor production has fallen from 37 percent to just 12 percent over the last 30 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the fragility in the global semiconductor supply chain. Experts estimate that the global chip shortage knocked off a full percentage point from U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) last year. U.S. autoworkers faced furloughs and production shut downs due to pandemic-driven disruptions in Asian semiconductor factories, contributing to large increases in the price of cars for U.S. consumers. One-third of the annual price increases in core consumer price index (CPI) last year was due to high car prices alone.
The Biden-Harris Administration has been working around the clock with Congress, our international allies and partners, and the private sector to expand U.S. chip manufacturing capacity, bring back critical American manufacturing jobs, address the chip shortage, and ensure we are not exposed to these disruptions again. Today, Intel will announce a new $20 billion factory outside Columbus, Ohio.
Today’s announcement is the latest marker of progress in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ramp up domestic manufacturing for critical goods like semiconductors, tackle near-term supply chain bottlenecks, revitalize our manufacturing base, and create good jobs here at home. This investment will create 7,000 construction jobs and another 3,000 permanent jobs, another sign of the strength of the American economy.
To accelerate this progress, the President is urging Congress to pass legislation to strengthen U.S. research and development and manufacturing for critical supply chains, including semiconductors. The Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) in June and the Administration is working with the House and Senate to finalize this legislation. It includes full funding for the CHIPS for America Act, which will provide $52 billion to catalyze more private-sector investments and continued American technological leadership.
Since the beginning of 2021, the semiconductor industry has announced nearly $80 billion in new investments in the United States through 2025, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. These investments will create tens of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs, support U.S. technological leadership, and promote security and resilience in global semiconductor supply chains. In addition to Intel’s announcement today, investments include:
A $17 billion Samsung factory in Texas – the result of sustained work by the Administration, including the President’s meeting with President Moon of the Republic of Korea in May.
Texas Instruments investing up to $30 billion in Texas;
A new Global Foundries factory in New York state;
Cree’s intention to spend $1 billion to expand a current plant in North Carolina;
SK Group investments in a new U.S. R&D center; and
Micron to expanding U.S. production.
The Biden-Harris Administration has led a whole of government effort to secure these critical investments.
President Biden prioritized domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research and development (R&D) shortly after taking office, designating semiconductor supply chains as a centerpiece of his national supply chain initiative launched in February 2021.
In June, the Commerce Department issued a set of recommendations on how to secure the U.S. semiconductor supply chain. Since that time, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese have held regular follow-up engagements with industry leaders and diplomatic partners and allies to advance practical solutions to strengthen the global semiconductor supply chain. This includes White House has met with the CEOs of multiple semiconductor companies in this effort.
In October, President Biden hosted a global summit on supply chains with the heads of state from 14 countries and the European Union on the margins of the G20 in Italy to discuss supply chain disruptions, with a focus on semiconductors. The President also focused on semiconductor supply chain resilience in his bilateral meetings with foreign leaders and directed the Administration to cooperate with Europe on strengthening global supply chains through the U.S.-E.U. Trade and Technology Council (TTC) and through the Quad’s focus on critical technologies.
Investments in new foundries are critical to the long-term resilience of our semiconductor supply chains. At the same time, the Administration is working to address the near-term disruptions in semiconductor supply chains that have contributed to challenges in a number of manufacturing sectors and to price increases for U.S. consumers.
In April 2021, the President hosted a virtual summit with leading firms that produce chips and those that use chips to identify practical ways to discuss actions they could to address the disruptions resulting from the global chip shortage. By the end of the year, the participants had announced new partnerships between semiconductor companies and U.S. automakers to strengthen the resiliency of the automotive chip supply chain.
In the summer, the Administration worked with governments and companies around the world to mitigate COVID-related disruptions to semiconductor manufacturing and in September 2021 established a global early alert system to identify and address pandemic-related disruptions.
The Commerce Department promoted transparency in semiconductor supply chains, including through a Fall 2021 survey on the chips shortage to identify the key chokepoints in the semiconductor supply chains. Over 150 responses were received from all parts of the supply chain – producers, consumers, and intermediaries – include responses from nearly all the major semiconductor producers and the major automakers. The results of the survey will be released publicly by the end of January 2021.
The U.S. Department of Defense has used Defense Production Act authorities to strengthen supply chains for key defense-related semiconductors.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Invest $14 Billion from President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Other Appropriations to Strengthen Port and Waterway Supply Chains and Bolster Climate Resilience
The Biden Administration issued a fact sheet detailing its historic $14 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways – funding in fiscal 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, and address a source of inflation while creating jobs:
Modern and resilient infrastructure strengthens our supply chains, supports U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, and protects communities from the accelerating impacts of climate change. Yet, decades of under-investment and neglect have left our nation’s infrastructure – from ports and waterways to levees and dams to the aquatic ecosystems that supply our water and energy – vulnerable to climate change and struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic.
Recognizing the vital role of modern, resilient infrastructure in reducing costs for American families and businesses, President Biden secured unprecedented investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase climate resilience and make long overdue improvements at ports and waterways, as well as additional funds through supplemental appropriations to help impacted states and Tribes recover and become more resilient to natural disasters. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing that it will invest more than $14 billion of this funding in fiscal year 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, including through:
The largest single investment ever to restore and revitalize the Everglades in Florida.
Expanding capacity at some of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ports, including the Port of Long Beach.
Commitments to help underserved coastal communities build back more resilient from extreme weather.
A full list of projects receiving funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations can be found HERE.
The investments announced today further advance the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean energy investments flow to historically marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities to build their economies. The investments also underscore how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering results to communities across America, advancing racial equity, combatting climate change, and creating job opportunities for American workers.
In just over two months since the President signed the historic legislation into law, the Administration has already mobilized resources to connect Tribal Nations to reliable, high-speed internet, replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country, upgrade critical infrastructure at 3,075 airports, update America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and more. With these additional investments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will initiate projects in fiscal year 2022 that:
STRENGTHEN DOMESTIC SUPPLY CHAINS
American ports and waterways are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in 2018, America’s ports supported more than 30 million jobs and approximately 26% of our nation’s GDP. However, decades of neglect and underinvestment have strained their capacity and jeopardized supply chains.
Building on the work this Administration has done this past year to get goods flowing from ships to shelves faster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is committing $4 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand capacity at key ports, allow passage of larger vessels, and further enhance the country’s ability to move goods. These waterside investments will compliment landside investments at our ports and across the goods movement chain such as the Port Infrastructure Development Grants announced in December. Specific projects for fiscal year 2022 include work to:
Enhance the Country’s Ability to Move Goods. America’s waterways are vital to getting goods moving faster and more efficiently through the nation. Recognizing the role of inland waterways in creating and sustaining jobs, relieving landside congestion, and providing more cost-effective transportation capacities, the Administration will provide $858 million to support the replacement of locks that keep water levels high enough for large cargo ships to pass through the upper Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh. The Administration will also provide more than $470 million to complete construction of a new lock along St. Mary’s River in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan, which serves as a passageway for nearly all domestically-produced iron ore. These funds will build on the Department of Transportation’s recent investments to enhance the movement of goods along the nation’s navigable waterways.
Reinforce America’s Largest Port Complex. The Administration will invest $8 million to improve commercial navigation and allow larger and more ships to pass at the Port of Long Beach, California – part of the nation’s largest port complex. The investment will support design work to widen the port’s main channel, deepen the entrance channel, and build an approach channel and turning basin. It also builds on the $52 million grant the Administration previously announced to support the Port of Long Beach’s on-dock rail facility, as well as a multi-billion dollar loan agreement with California to modernize the state’s ports, freight, and other goods movement infrastructure.
Move More Goods Faster at One of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Ports. The Administration will invest $69 million to improve navigation and expand capacity at Norfolk Harbor, Virginia, which handled 67 percent more containers in 2021 than it did 10 years ago. Work will include deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels to improve navigation and enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels, and to provide significant new economic opportunities to the region.
BOLSTER THE NATION’S DEFENSES AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Damage from extreme weather events and natural disasters, including those from Hurricane Ida, were estimated to cost the United States at least $141 billion in 2021, and is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. President Biden knows that down payments now to bolster the resilience of our infrastructure to climate change will save Americans money in the long run. The Biden-Harris Administration will commit $5.5 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to better protect communities from climate change, and protect vital ecosystems and the people and businesses throughout the country that rely on them.
For instance, the funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law announced today will:
Restore and Protect Critical Ecosystems and Water Supplies, Including the Everglades. The Administration is making the largest single investment in the Everglades in U.S. history. The iconic American landscape provides drinking water supply for over 8 million Floridians, supports the state’s $90 billion tourism economy, and is home to dozens of endangered or threatened species. However, rising sea levels and other climate change impacts are endangering this vital ecosystem and the people, businesses, and habitats it supports. Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Army Corps will invest $1.1 billion to restore, protect, and preserve the South Florida ecosystem and increase its resilience to the impacts of climate change. These funds will support improvements to the Everglades by capturing and storing excess surface water runoff, reducing excess water releases to water conservation areas, and minimizing seepage losses during dry periods.
Advance Environmental Justice. The investments announced today will further deliver on the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities in building their local economies. The Administration will provide $163 million to restore the Cano Martin Penaurban tidal channel and surrounding areas of the San Juan Bay National Estuary. The urban waterway project will significantly improve the health and welfare of the surrounding communities in San Juan by reducing exposure to contaminated waters and sediments, improving water quality, and restoring fish and mangrove habitat. The Administration is also committing $40 million to the Espanola Valley, Rio Grande and Tributaries, New Mexico to restore and protect 958 acres of aquatic and riparian habitats. These habitats are critical to the functioning of the third longest river in the country, and are an integral part of constructing social identity and transmission and retention of traditional knowledge for both the Pueblo of Santa Clara and Ohkay Owingeh. In addition, the Army Corps is committing nearly $28 million to prevent coastal erosion of Kenai River Bluff in Alaska. In the coming year, the Army Corps will also engage with environmental justice communities in the development of a strategy to allocate $130 million for two pilot programs that target the needs of economically-disadvantaged communities.
Reduce Flood Risk. The Army Corps will leverage funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase community resilience to flooding, including $645 million to reduce coastal flood risk through 15 projects and $1.7 billion to reduce inland flood risk through an additional 15 projects across the country. Projects include $378 million to protect people, property, and the fragile marshland in coastal Louisiana, $250 million for storm surge barriers, levees, and pump stations to reduce storm risk to the City of Norfolk, Virginia, $66 million to refurbish the levee system along the Little Colorado River outside ofWinslow, Arizonain Navajo County, and $35 million in the San Joaquin River Basin to help reduce flood risk to the City of Stockton, California. As a result of Hurricane Ida, 90 percent of Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana sustained significant damages, including to five floodgates of the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection System.
In addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds announced today, the Administration will invest more than $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2022 through the Disaster Relief and Supplemental Appropriations Act to reinforce disaster mitigation and recovery efforts in communities recovering from extreme weather events, and to better enable homes and businesses to reduce their risks of climate change. This includes $3.3 billion in funding for Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, where major disasters were declared due to Hurricane Ida. In Louisiana, for instance, the Biden-Harris Administration will invest over $1.7 billion to help the state build back more resilient from extreme weather events, including through the replacement or modification of levees infrastructure on the east and west banks of Plaquemines Parish, completion of construction of the Atachafalaya Basin floodway system, and initiation construction for the Algiers sub-basin in southeast Louisiana.
Here is a summary of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal for FY 2023:
Governor Kathy Hochul today, with Division of the Budget Director Robert F. Mujica Jr., outlined her Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Executive Budget. The FY 2023 Executive Budget maintains the Governor’s commitment to passing a bold agenda that by rebuilds New York’s healthcare and teacher workforces; provides tax relief to those who need it most; speeds up economic growth and creates good-paying middle-class jobs; strengthens the state’s infrastructure and confronts climate change; secures public safety and protects communities; makes housing more affordable to ensure every New Yorker has a roof over their head; and enacts bold reforms to restore trust in State government.
“We have the means to immediately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as embrace this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the future with a historic level of funding that is both socially responsible and fiscally prudent,” Governor Hochul said. “As I said in my State of the State speech: It’s time for a better, fairer, and more inclusive version of the American Dream. I’m calling it the New York Dream. We will make that New York Dream real – and ensure that it can be realized by every single New Yorker.”
“Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget makes historic investments in critical areas while ensuring that we are equipped for future shocks,” Budget Director Robert F. Mujica Jr. said, “Never again will the State find itself unprepared for the opportunities – or challenges – ahead. After years of unprecedented hardship, this Budget makes the State, from a financial perspective, as resilient as its spirit. It is the Budget that New Yorkers deserve and expect.”
A Balanced Budget
Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 budget proposal reflects New York’s solid financial footing. As tax revenues rebound the budget is balanced for the entirety of the financial plan leading up to FY 2027, has no budget gaps, and holds spending growth in FY 2023 below inflation.
Rebuilding the Health Care Workforce
To restore our depleted healthcare workforce and build the healthcare system of tomorrow, Governor Hochul will make a more-than-$10 billion, multi-year investment in healthcare, including more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers. Key components of this multi-year investment include:
$1.2 billion of state support for healthcare and mental hygiene worker retention bonuses, with up to $3,000 bonuses going to full-time workers who remain in their positions for one year, and pro-rated bonuses for those working fewer hours;
$500 million for Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) to help raise wages for human services workers;
$2.4 billion for healthcare capital infrastructure and improved lab capacity; and
Other investments in workforce and healthcare access and delivery.
With these investments, Governor Hochul proposes to rebuild and grow the healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next five years with a program designed to strengthen home care, improve the career pipeline, expand access to healthcare training and education, and recruit healthcare and direct support professionals to care for people in underserved areas.
Strengthening the Teacher Workforce
School Aid: The FY 2023 Executive Budget provides $31.3 billion in total School Aid for SY 2023, the highest level of State aid ever. This investment represents a year-to-year increase of $2.1 billion (7.1 percent) compared to School Year (SY) 2022, including a $1.6 billion Foundation Aid increase and a $466 million increase in all other School Aid programs.
Foundation Aid: Foundation Aid is the State’s main education operating aid formula. It is focused on allocating State funds equitably to all school districts, especially high-need districts, based on student need, community wealth, and regional cost differences. The Executive Budget provides a $1.6 billion (8.1 percent) increase in Foundation Aid, supporting the second year of the three-year phase-in of full funding of the current Foundation Aid formula and ensuring each school district receives a minimum year-to-year increase of 3 percent.
The Executive Budget provides SUNY and CUNY with $106 million – $53 million each – to hire additional full-time faculty at both four-year colleges and community colleges. This investment will fund an estimated 880 additional full-time faculty – 340 at SUNY and 540 at CUNY, including support for CUNY’s plan to convert adjuncts to full-time faculty.
Providing Tax Relief to Those Who Need It
Accelerate the Implementation of the Middle-Class Tax Cut: The eight-year phase-in of personal income tax cuts for middle-class taxpayers first began in Tax Year 2018 and is currently scheduled to be completed at the start of the 2025 Tax Year. The Executive Budget:
Accelerates tax relief to middle-class New Yorkers by providing the fully implemented reduced tax rates beginning in Tax Year 2023.
Provides relief to 6.1 million New Yorkers.
Create a Tax Credit for Small Businesses’ COVID-19-Related Expenses: To continue the State’s support for our small businesses, the Executive Budget includes a new capped refundable tax relief program targeting COVID-19-related expenses for small businesses. The program provides:
Up to $250 million in additional relief to small businesses.
Eligible COVID-19-related capital investments include, but are not limited to, costs associated with expanding space to accommodate social distancing, HVAC equipment, expenses related to outdoor space expansions, as well as machinery and equipment to facilitate contactless sales.
Provide Small Business Tax Relief: Small businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic downturn. The Executive Budget provides much needed tax relief to these businesses by:
Increasing the small business subtraction modification from 5 percent to 15 percent of net business income or farm income, and
Expanding the benefit to include pass-through entities with less than $1.5 million NY-source gross income.
This proposal will aid 195,000 small businesses through one of the most challenging business climates in modern history.
Provide a Homeowner Tax Rebate Credit: The Executive Budget creates a new property tax relief credit, the Homeowner Tax Rebate Credit, to eligible low- and middle-income households, as well as eligible senior households:
Basic STAR exemption and credit beneficiaries with incomes below $250,000 and Enhanced STAR recipients are eligible for the property tax rebate where the benefit is a percentage of the homeowners’ existing STAR benefit.
This one-year program is, in general, an extension of the real Property Tax Relief Credit Program that expired after 2019, with benefits calculated as a percentage of a homeowner’s STAR benefit. Additionally, homeowners in New York City will also be eligible for this credit.
Outside of New York City, the average benefit will be nearly $970, providing relief to more than 2 million property tax-paying households. The New York City average benefit will be about $425, with benefits reaching another 479,000 property tax-paying households.
For homeowners with income below $75,000 the statewide average credit is estimated at nearly $1,050, benefiting an estimated 837,800 recipients.
The benefit will be in the form of an advanced credit, instead of being claimed when tax returns are filed, thus getting benefits in the hands of New York homeowners more quickly. Credits will be an advance on Tax Year 2022 income tax returns, to be directly sent to eligible homeowners beginning in Fall 2022.
Capital Plan and Infrastructure
The new five-year, $32.8 billion DOT capital plan will leverage Federal funding commitments made in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support final phases of major infrastructure projects, including Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement and the replacement of I-81 in Syracuse.
The new plan also supports new large-scale projects, including: modernizing the Livingston Avenue Bridge in Albany; reconnecting neighborhoods across the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo; converting Route 17 to I-86 in Orange and Sullivan Counties; and assessing ways to improve road capacity at the Oakdale Merge in Suffolk County.
The Five-Year DOT Capital Plan also increases the existing BRIDGE-NY program by $1 billion, adds a new $1 billion Operation Pave Our Potholes program, and continues record commitments to funding local highway and bridge programs through the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).
Building on $832 million in existing subsidies and $2.3 billion in Federal child care resources, the Budget includes new investments to support children, parents, and the child care industry.
Increase Eligibility for Subsidies— child care subsidy eligibility will be increased from up to 200 percent of the Federal poverty level to up to 300 percent of the Federal poverty level over three years. Fully phased in, more than $535 million annually will allow an additional 400,000 children to become newly eligible.
Maintain Access to Child Care Providers— $125 million in funding annually is included to maintain child care subsidies when rates increase in 2022.
Support Child Care Workers—$75 million is invested in child care worker wages, an endorsement of the importance of their work.
Governor Hochul is proposing a nearly billion-dollar plan focused on the State’s small businesses, including targeted programs to address small business needs and ensure all types of small businesses prosper throughout the State. Key components of this plan include:
Funding for Small Businesses of the Future – Capital and venture debt awards to emerging small businesses in the innovation sector, including minority-and-women-owned companies often overlooked by venture investments.
Seed Funding for Small Business – A $200 million flexible grant program for early-stage businesses recently opened despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Lending Initiative – Provide reduced interest rate and accessible loans to expanding small businesses.
SUNY and CUNY
$1.5 Billion for SUNY and CUNY: The Executive Budget will invest more than $300 million in SUNY and CUNY operations each year over the next five years. Governor Hochul also will partner over the next year with SUNY, its individual institutions, and key stakeholders to develop a plan to implement her vision to transform SUNY into the top statewide system of public higher education in the country. The Executive Budget will help start this transformation with funding for new engineering buildings to help the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University become SUNY’s flagship institutions.
The Executive Budget will increase operating support to SUNY State-operated campuses and City University of New York (CUNY) senior colleges by fully reimbursing colleges for the $108.4 million cost of “Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Gap” tuition credits, providing additional State support of $59.6 million to CUNY and $48.8 million to SUNY. The university systems will also receive an $18.6 million in additional operating revenue from Executive Budget legislation to raise the amount of State support that campuses receive for Excelsior Scholarship recipients, increasing operating support by $13.7 million to SUNY State operated campuses, $2.8 million to CUNY senior colleges and $2.1 million to community colleges.
Expand Part-Time Students’ Access to TAP: The Executive Budget includes $150 million to expand TAP, which currently is largely unavailable for students studying part time, to cover students enrolled in six or more credits of study at a SUNY, CUNY, or not-for-profit independent college – an investment estimated to provide support to 75,000 additional New York students annually.
Energy and the Environment
Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act: The Executive Budget includes $4 billion for the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. This historic initiative will provide the support New York needs to restore critical environmental habitats; reduce flood risks; conserve additional lands and open spaces; protect and improve our water resources; and invest in climate change mitigation projects that will reduce pollution and lower carbon emissions. The Bond Act will also support a substantial investment in the Clean Green Schools initiative that will reach every public school located in a disadvantaged community.
Offshore Wind: The Executive Budget includes $500 million investment to develop the State’s offshore wind supply chains and port infrastructure. This nation-leading initiative will create 2,000 jobs in a growing industry, while helping to make New York the offshore wind capital of the country for years to come.
Launch a New Five-Year, $25 Billion Comprehensive Housing Plan. The Executive Budget advances a new $25 billion, five-year Housing Plan to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with support services for vulnerable populations, and electrify an additional 50,000 homes as part of the State’s plan to electrify one million homes and make another one million electrification-ready. Funding includes $5.7 billion in capital resources, $8.8 billion in State and Federal tax credits and other federal allocations, $11 billion to support the operation of shelters and supportive housing units and to provide rental subsidies.
Combating Gun Violence
The Executive Budget includes $224 million to fund initiatives that will strengthen the gun violence prevention efforts of law enforcement and community-based organizations. Through these actions, we will work to restore New Yorkers’ sense of safety and community. Some of these actions include:
Triple Resources for Crime Gun Tracing Efforts – The Executive Budget provides $350,000 in funding to triple the state’s gun violence intelligence resources by staffing the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) with a team of analysts necessary to process and investigate crime guns across the state.
Strengthen Law Enforcement Partnerships – The Executive Budget provides $13.1 million to expand the use of Community Stabilization Units that partner the most experienced State Troopers with local law enforcement agencies to combat community-specific crime problems.
Expand the State’s Direct Support to Local Law Enforcement (GIVE) – The Executive Budget increases funding to $18.2 million for New York’s nationally recognized Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative which supports local law enforcement efforts to stop the gun violence in New York. This investment will enable the launch of several new initiatives which will support law enforcement’s ability to clear non-fatal shooting cases, engage in youth-centered community programming, and reduce recidivism for individuals under community supervision.
Triple Investment in Community-Based Gun Violence Response (SNUG) – The Executive Budget sustains last year’s emergency increase in funding for New York’s SNUG Outreach program and further expand support to combat the spike in gun crimes. This investment of $24.9 million will expand hospital-based and street outreach programs to touch all corners of the state. It will facilitate the piloting of several new initiatives which provide wrap-around services for youth, job-readiness and work-placement training.
Respond to Regional Needs in the Aftermath of Gun Violence – The Executive Budget includes $20 million in new funding to support the people and places that have been most impacted by the spike in gun violence. This will allow the deployment of innovative community empowerment and crime-reduction programming in high-need areas that will facilitate the repairing and rebuilding of regions victimized by crime involving guns.
Addressing Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) will take significant steps to address the opioid crisis by improving access to addiction treatment services, removing barriers to treatment, developing new and innovative treatment models, and expanding the number of treatment facilities in communities around New York State.
The Executive Budget provides an increase of $402 million (56 percent) in operating and capital support for OASAS to enhance prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward addiction services, residential service opportunities, and primary prevention activities consistent with state opioid settlement agreements; and invests more than $100 million in new resources from the Opioid Stewardship Tax and litigation settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. Of these funds, $113 million will pass through the State to local municipalities, consistent with settlement agreements.
NYSGovernor Kathy Hochul: “This is a moment of a great possibility, a once-in-a-generation chance to reconsider what is possible for our state. And this really is the beginning of New York’s next great comeback. I declared a New Era for New York, and it continues today.”
This is a highlighted transcript of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget message:
Two weeks ago in my State of the State speech, I proposed a whole new era for New York. One in which my administration, my fellow statewide elected officials and the legislature will finally work together to deliver for New Yorkers. But before I deliver our positive budget trends, let’s look at another trend, which is increasingly positive.
Today, positive COVID cases are at 22,312 down 75% from our peak of 90,132 on January 7th, less than two weeks ago and that’s incredible. And cases dropped 34% in the last seven days while cases across the rest of the United States went down only by five percent. Our positivity rate is down to 12.48%, nearly an 11% drop from the peak on January 2nd and hospitalizations continue to trend downward as well.
So we hope to close the books on this winter surge soon. So we can turn the page and open the book on our 2023 budget outlook and focus on the post pandemic future. As I said, since I took office 147 days ago, my top priority is to confront this pandemic head-on and to save lives, protect the health of New Yorkers and protect the health of our economy.
But we also must pass a bold agenda that’ll do more than just help us recover from this crisis. We need to embrace this moment of possibility and use it to redefine New York’s destiny. How? First by rebuilding our healthcare and teacher workforces, providing tax relief to those who need it the most, speeding up economic growth and creating good paying middle-class jobs, strengthening our infrastructure and confronting climate change, securing public safety and protecting our communities, making housing more affordable and ensuring every New Yorker has a roof over their head, enacting bold reforms that will restore trust in state and we’re changing the culture and creating workplaces that are free of harassment.
This is an extraordinary time and it will be met with extraordinary solutions. The policies I laid out two weeks ago are ambitious, but as I said, just as importantly, they’re realistic and achievable. And we’re in a position to fully fund them by making historic investment, like record aid to education, the biggest capital plan for infrastructure that our state has ever seen, and a groundbreaking program to rebuild the healthcare industry. But we’re also being smart and responsible recognizing that we need to fund our reserves to historic levels as well. So I’m proud to say that today we are submitting a balanced executive budget for fiscal year 2023 to the legislature.
Our state is in a strong financial position due to a combination of factors, increased tax receipts, a thriving stock market, and an influx of federal aid through the American rescue plan and the infrastructure act, some of which have already been received, some with more still to come. Looking forward, our base level forecasts are equally optimistic.
We predict we’ll be able to continue to balance the budget and be able to make these types of bold but necessary investments all the way through fiscal year 2027. And this is a big change from where we were just this time last year. When the division of budget projected deficits totaling $17 billion during that same timeframe.
So this is a once in a generation opportunity to make thoughtful, purpose-driven investments in our state and in our people that will pay dividends for decades. And that’s exactly what my budget will do.
But this is also about meeting New Yorkers where they are now, frustrated by a persistent pandemic, anxious about rising prices for everything from milk to gas to housing, worried about whether or not their paycheck will be enough to make ends meet and stressed, most of all, about their kids, the quality of their education, affordability of childcare, and even thoughts about what their future will be in a world beset by climate change.
So New Yorkers, this budget is for you and about you. And how I propose to use the entirety of our $216 billion budget to directly address the immediate needs of New Yorkers and at the same time positively impact people’s lives and livelihoods for decades to come first. First, we’ll respond to this pandemic head-on by following the science and the data, and doing whatever it takes to ensure that our recovery is swift and far-reaching.
That’s why we’ve set aside $2 billion for pandemic recovery initiatives. I’ll work with the legislature to identify the most impactful use of these funds in the short term, whether that’s held for struggling, small landlords and their tenants, or the hardest hurt industries and workers, or for other purposes.
Now let’s talk about putting more money back into people’s pockets. Rather than raise taxes, this is about tax relief. Accelerating a $1.2 billion tax cut originally scheduled to take effect between 2023 and 2025. This [means] way more than 6 million middle-class taxpayers getting their much-needed money a lot sooner.
At a time when inflation is robbing families of long awaited gains and income, and recognizing that property taxes are still too high, we will provide a $2 billion property tax rebate to more than 2 million middle-class homeowners. And we’re delivering $250 million in tax credits for small businesses to help them pay for COVID related expenses.
In addition to that, we’re having new support for farms and other small businesses, hit so hard by this pandemic. We need to help them not just survive, but to thrive. And using the unprecedented fusion of money from our leaders in Washington, starting with President Joe Biden, New York will see the largest investment in our state infrastructure ever through a $32.8 billion capital plan.
The boldness I outlined in my State of the State address will be realized. I’m putting the dollars behind making long-term overdo repairs to our roads, and our bridges, building new transit options, modernizing existing transit and hubs and revitalizing communities. I’ve also declared war on potholes. So here’s the first shot across the bow: a $1 billion plan called Operation POP: Pave Our Potholes, and this strategy takes us from potholes to not-holes. For me, infrastructure is a quality of life issue. It’s about creating connections, connecting neighborhoods, connecting people to jobs, connecting people to their family members and loved ones. And we’ll finally be able to strengthen those bonds across our state, using cash rather than borrowing money.So future generations are not hamstrung by the commitments we make today.
One way we’ll do that is by reconnecting neighborhoods that were severed by asphalt highways, and these all disproportionally impacted communities of color, like the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, I-81 in Syracuse, the Inner Loop in Rochester, and the Cross Bronx Expressway.
And one hard lesson we learned about what happens when there’s a lack of investment is how our healthcare system crumbled under the stress of the pandemic.
And that’s why we’re making up for lost time and positioning the state to have better footing going forward with the largest investment in healthcare in State history, $10 billion. One of our shared values as New Yorkers is that everyone deserves the dignity of access to quality health care, especially during a public health crisis. In my State of the State speech, I promise to start by rebuilding our healthcare workforce. They’re the heroes of this pandemic, so let’s stop talking about the debt we owe them, and actually pay them what they deserve. And that includes more than $1 billion in bonuses. We’ll also work to rebuild our medical facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals, which have been crushed by this pandemic, through a $1.6 billion capital program to help them make much needed upgrades.
We’re also going to invest in education, strengthening our teacher workforce and supporting students’ mental health. We’ll provide more than $31 billion in aid for our schools. Continuing our commitment to fully fund education and foundation aid. And that brings us to the highest level the State has invested in education ever. And this should be used to continue expanding our pre-K program to school districts all across the state, and for much needed after school programs. Because working parents need all the support they can get. We’re also increasing ourinvestments in childcare, to more than $1.4 billion. This will make 400,000 more families eligible for childcare subsidies, and we’ll invest more in childcare workers as well.
To boost our economy, we’ll make significant investments in our workforce development programs, support for small businesses, and the revitalization of downtowns across the state. So we can be the most worker friendly and business friendly state in the nation, with all the different engines of our economy firing in all cylinders. And we’ll ensure that the new businesses we’re going to draw to New York will have access to a well-trained and educated workforce. And how we do that is by making our statewide higher education system, the very best in the entire nation.
We’re going to increase operational support for SUNY and CUNY, the engines of social mobility, and we’re adding $1.5 billion over the next five years. And we’re investing $150 million into the expansion of the tuition assistance program, so it’s available to part-time students giving them a chance, which means more students won’t have to choose between work and getting their degree. We’ll also make that assistance available to people in prison as part of our jails-to-jobs initiative.
And we’re going to confront that climate crisis with the urgency that is required. That’s why my budget includes $4 billion for the landmark Clean Water Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond act, in the largest ever investment in the Environmental Protection Fund. We must speed up our transition to clean energy and you are we’ll lead the way by making a nation-leading $500 million investment in offshore wind energy.
And we have to confront the housing affordability crisis. And one way we’ll do that is by advancing a new $25 billion five-year housing plan to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with supportive services for vulnerable populations. And everyone deserves to feel safe on the streets, in schools, in their homes, and in their communities, and during their commutes, and in too many communities, they just don’t. So we’re going to prioritize public safety. Starting with $224 million investment into programs that will reduced gun violence and other programs to help children in our streets, and will confront the other public health crisis that is taking far too many New Yorkers lives and will take it on head-on because that is something that has destroyed the lives of too many of our loved ones.
So we’re going to make a $400 million dollar multi-year investment in opioid and substance abuse addiction service. Of course, this is just a small sampling of everything that’s included in the 2023 budget. But the bottom line is that we’ll make smart investments to ensure we not only recover from this pandemic, but emerge from it stronger than ever before.
And I want to be very clear. We’re going to do it by taking a fiscally responsible approach because we know that the federal funds will eventually run out. And that’s why we’re not banking on them for the future. We’re not creating recurring expenses or new programs we can’t pay for. So for the first time ever, with smart planning, New York will have no out year gaps.
All these commitments are either one-time expenditures or are supported by the expectation of a reasonable growth in revenue as projected by our division of budget. So we have the means to respond to this historic moment with a historic level of funding. And what we have achieved with the blueprint I’m printing today is both a plan that is socially responsible and fiscally prudent. And as I learned working on 14 balanced municipal budgets with much smaller numbers, but with the same philosophy, you have to prepare for the rainy days, even when there’s not a cloud in the sky, because of the rain – or where I come from, the snow, eventually does fall.
So we’re prepared for the downturns as well. Just remember where we were two years ago today, and suddenly how our world changed forever. As we assess the risks, we do have concerns about long-term economic erosion caused by the pandemic and the impact of inflation and even – hate to say it but possible resurgence of COVID. We just can’t predict the future. But I want to share New Yorkers that we are prepared.
And that’s why we’re making these investments with those worst case scenario calculations built in. And committing resources every year until the state has reserves of at least 15% of operating spending. That’s what the experts recommend, and it’s what we’re going to do. For the future leaders, for future generations, and for the future health of our state. But we’re not letting this once in a generation moment pass us by. It’s not simply enough to return to our pre pandemic world in way of life. That would be timid and unimaginative, and it would fail to honor our history and the legacy of the daring, visionary New Yorkers who came before us.
Leaders like FDR, who weathered some of the most intense storms the world has ever seen, always while keeping one eye fixed on the horizon, planning for the day when the clouds would part. And it wasn’t through sheer luck that the policies he passed during those crises made an immediate difference in the short-term and a generational impact in the long-term. Through careful and strategic planning. And he embraced those times of crisis for what they were, a chance to re-imagine the future while correcting the mistakes of the past. And we must now have the same foresight and resolve to do the same because this pandemic did not create all the problems we’re facing today.
It simply forced us to hold up a mirror and see the cracks in our society that have been too easy to ignore before. We cannot allow this virus to grip us so tightly that it constrains us from looking to the future or prevents us from mending those cracks. Since its founding, our state has been the home of the dreamers and the doers from all over the world who came here in pursuit of opportunity and a better life. But today for too many New Yorkers, the American dream is just that, a dream. And that has been even more true as a result of this pandemic.
As I said in my State of the State speech, it’s time for a better, fairer, and more inclusive version. And I’m calling it the New York dream. And by implementing the agenda I proposed two weeks ago, we can make it a reality. And this is with smart, strategic and a forward thinking plan, we will. This is a moment of great possibility. A once in a generation chance to reconsider what is possible for our state. And this really is the beginning of New York’s next great comeback.
I declared a new era for New York and it continues today. So New Yorkers, this budget’s for you.
The White House issued a Fact Sheet reviewing results 60 days after President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 60 day ago, the Biden-Harris Administration has hit the ground running to deliver results. The Administration has made key progress towards implementing the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.
The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling road and bridges, replace lead pipes, help provide high-speed internet to every family in America, and produce concrete results that change people’s lives for the better. These results will create good-paying, union jobs, support domestic manufacturing and supply chains, and position the United States to win the 21st century. As the Administration implements the law, it is following through on President Biden’s commitment to ensure investments advance equity and racial justice, reach communities all across the country – including rural communities, communities of color, and disability communities – and strengthen the nation’s resilience to climate change.
On the day President Biden signed the bill into law, he appointed Mitch Landrieu as Senior Adviser and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator and signed an Executive Order establishing an Infrastructure Implementation Task Force to ensure the Administration achieves results for the American people. The Administration launched Build.gov to serve as a growing hub of implementation resources, and it kicked off a nationwide tour to highlight the benefits of the law for people across the country.
President Biden surveyed a bridge needing repairs in New Hampshire, toured an electric vehicle plant in Michigan, visited a public transit authority in Missouri. Vice President Harris joined Transportation Secretary Buttigieg in North Carolina to tour an electric bus facility. EPA Administrator traveled across the South during an environmental justice tour. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured the West to discuss resilience projects while Energy Secretary Jen Granholm touted clean energy projects from Illinois to Tennessee to Rhode Island. Throughout the tour, the Administration demonstrated how we will work as one team with one mission: to deliver results to the American people while advancing racial equity, combatting climate change, and creating job opportunities for American workers.
Roads, Bridges, and Transportation Infrastructure
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced $27 billion in funding to replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country to all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Tribal governments over the next five years.
Vice President Harris announced an EV Charging Action Plan to achieve the President’s goal of building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) at USDOT announced $230 million in Port Infrastructure Development grants to improve ports, strengthen the nation’s supply chains to meet demand resulting from the rapid economic recovery over the past year, and help ease inflationary pressures. Funding for this program will be boosted by an additional $2.25 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan issued a letter to Governors outlining the key priorities for water investments, including targeting resources to disadvantaged communities, making rapid progress on lead-free water for all, and tackling dangerous chemicals such as PFAS.
Vice President Harris announced a Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan to replace all of the nation’s lead pipes in the next decade and expand access to clean drinking water.
The Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program providing broadband subsidies of up to $30/month for low-income households (up to $75/month for households on Tribal Lands) and up to $100 towards the purchase of a desktop, laptop or tablet computer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began accepting applications for the $1.15 billion ReConnect rural broadband program for loans and grants to state, local or territory governments, corporations, Native American Tribes and limited liability companies and cooperative organizations to help people in rural areas get access to high-speed internet, which will be boosted by the infrastructure law.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the DOC hosted the first two in a series of broadbandlistening sessions with more than 1,400 participants to inform how the Administration implements several of the historic broadband program funded by the infrastructure law.
The NTIA also published a request for comment seeking public input on the design and implementation of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, the Middle-Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program which together will distribute more than $25 billion in broadband funding.
Clean Energy and Environmental Remediation
EPA announced $1 billion in funding to clean up 49 Superfund sites across 24 states to accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and create good-paying jobs.
DOE established the new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, which will oversee $20 billion of infrastructure funding to scale up clean energy, create new, good-paying jobs for American families and workers, and reduce pollution while benefiting underserved communities.
DOE launched a new Building a Better Grid initiative to accelerate the deployment of new transition lines, enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. As part of this initiative, Office of Electricity at DOE released a notice of intent to inform the design and implementation of this historic investment.
DOI released initial guidance for the states interested in applying for funding to capand plug orphaned oil and gas wells that reduce methane emissions and create jobs, with 26 states expressing interest in a portion of the $4.7 billion in funding for well plugging, remediation and restoration available in infrastructure programs.
DOI announced the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is extending the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund program through 2034. This extension will provide for continued funding to states and Tribes for reclaiming hazardous abandoned mines, replacing polluted water supplies, and reducing legacy pollution in coalfield communities.
Historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection and Construction Program
The U.S. Department of Transportation today launched the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with $165 million for tribes. The FHWA also published initial guidance on the new program.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is thrilled to launch this program to fix thousands of bridges across the country – the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Modernizing America’s bridges will help improve safety, support economic growth, and make people’s lives better in every part of the country – across rural, suburban, urban, and tribal communities.”
“This record amount of funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will allow states and Tribal governments to fix the bridges most in need of repair,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “It will also modernize bridges to withstand the effects of climate change and to make them safer for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. Every state has bridges in poor condition and in need of repair, including bridges with weight restrictions that may force lengthy detours for travelers, school buses, first responders or trucks carrying freight,” she added.
Nationwide, the Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 highway bridges. In addition to providing funds to states to replace, rehabilitate, preserve, protect, and construct highway bridges, the Bridge Formula Program has dedicated funding for Tribal transportation facility bridges as well as “off-system” bridges, which are generally locally- owned facilities not on the federal-aid highway system. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an incentive for states to direct the new Bridge Formula Program funds to off-system bridges owned by a county, city, town or other local agency. While states generally must match federal funding with up to 20 percent state or local funding, the guidance issued today notes that federal funds can be used for 100 percent of the cost of repairing or rehabilitating such locally owned off-system bridges.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure, which will grow the economy, enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world, create good jobs, and make our transportation system more sustainable and equitable. Specific to the FHWA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years for surface transportation programs.
New York State, for one, has 1,702 bridges considered “in poor condition.” The state is scheduled to receive $378.4 million in FY 2022 bridge formula program funding, and $1.9 billion in the 5-year bridge formula program funding.
The program is set up so that localities – towns and cities – can get 100 percent funding for their bridge repair projects.
The Biden Administration is Buying One Billion Tests to Give to Americans for Free; Online Ordering of a Half-Billion Tests Begins on January 19th; Builds on Significant Actions to Expand Testing Capacity and Increase Access to Free Testing
Testing is an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or are gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated.
To help ensure Americans have tests on hand if a need arises, the Biden Administration is purchasing one billion at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to give to Americans for free. A half-billion tests will be available for order on January 19th and will be mailed directly to American households.
There will be free tests available for every household, and to promote broad access, the initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address. Starting January 19th, Americans will be able to order their tests online at COVIDTests.gov, and tests will typically ship within 7-12 days of ordering.
To ensure equity and access for all Americans, the Administration will also launch a call line to help those unable to access the website to place orders, and work with national and local community-based organizations to support the nation’s hardest-hit and highest-risk communities in requesting tests.
In addition to this new program, there are many other options for Americans to get tested. There are now over 20,000 free testing sites across the nation, including four times as many pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy free testing program as there were in January 2021, as well as federal surge free testing sites, with more free testing sites opening each week. Millions of free, at-home COVID-19 tests have been delivered to thousands of community health centers and rural health clinics to distribute to their patients, with more delivered each week. In addition, the Administration provided schools $10 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to get tests to K-12 school districts. And, the Administration invested nearly $6 billion in ARP funding to cover free testing for uninsured individuals, and support testing in correctional facilities, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and mental health facilities.
Just this week, the Administration also announced that starting January 15th, private health insurance companies will be required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests for free—and made an additional 10 million COVID-19 tests available to schools nationwide, each month.
Since January 2021, the Administration has taken significant action to dramatically increase the nation’s overall COVID-19 testing supply, the number of tests authorized for use in the U.S., and the number of places where Americans can get a test, while lowering costs for consumers and increasing access to free tests.
This comprehensive approach has produced important results: Today, there are nine at-home, rapid tests on the market in the U.S.—up from zero when the President took office. In December, there were more than 300 million at-home, rapid tests available in the U.S. market, up from 24 million in August—a more than 10-fold rise. This month, the number of at-home, rapid tests available to the U.S. market will rise to 375 million—in addition to the free tests available through COVIDTests.gov.
Distributing At-Home, Rapid COVID-19 Tests to American Homes for Free: This program will ensure that Americans have at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests available in the weeks and months ahead—in addition to the number of other ways they can get tested. The Administration is quickly completing a contracting process for the unprecedented purchase of one billion at-home, rapid tests to distribute as part of this program. The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, has already awarded several of the contracts that will result from this process—with over 420 million tests already under contract. Given the incredible volume of tests being procured and the diversity of manufacturers, additional contracts will continue to be awarded over the coming weeks.
Ordering Process: Starting on January 19th, Americans will be able to order a test online at COVIDTests.gov. To ensure broad access, the program will limit the number of tests sent to each residential address to four tests. Tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering.
Distribution and Delivery Process: The Administration will partner with the United States Postal Service to package and deliver tests to Americans that want them. All orders in the continental United States will be sent through First Class Package Service, with shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Territories and APO/FPO/DPO addresses sent through Priority Mail.
Ensuring Equity and Reaching Hardest-Hit Communities: The Administration is taking a number of steps to ensure this program reaches our hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. This includes prioritizing processing orders to households experiencing the highest social vulnerability and in communities that have experienced a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly during this Omicron surge; launching a free call line, so that Americans who have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support can phone-in orders for their tests; and, working with national and local organizations with deep experience serving communities of color, people living with disabilities, and other high-risk communities to serve as navigators, raise awareness about the program, and help people submit requests.
The Biden Administration continues acting aggressively to further increase equitable access to free COVID-19 testing for all Americans, as testing needs arise. This includes:
Requiring Health Insurers to Cover the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests Starting January 15th: On Monday, the Administration announced that, starting January 15th, private insurance companies will be required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests. This means consumers with private health insurance coverage will be able to get these tests for free. Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover eight free at-home tests per covered individual per month. That means a family of four, all on the same plan, would be able to get 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month. As part of the requirement, the Administration is strongly incentivizing plans and insurers to allow people to get these tests directly through preferred pharmacies or retailers with no out-of-pocket costs, with the plan or insurer covering the cost upfront, eliminating the need for people to submit reimbursement claims.
Making 10 Million More Tests Available to Schools Nationwide: On Wednesday, the Administration took new actions to increase access to COVID-19 testing in schools. This includes increasing the number of COVID-19 tests available to schools by 10 million per month to help schools safely remain open and implement screening testing and test-to-stay programs—which will allow schools to double the volume of testing they were performing in November 2021—and supporting free testing access for students, school staff, and families through federal testing sites. These actions double down on the Administration’s commitment to keeping all schools safely open for full-time in-person learning, and build on the historic investments the Administration has already made to expand school testing, including providing states $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to support COVID-19 screening testing for teachers, staff, and students and $130 billion in American Rescue Plan funding that schools can use on COVID-19 testing. In addition to these resources, at the President’s direction, FEMA has been providing states, Tribes, and territories 100 percent federal reimbursement to support COVID-19 testing, including at schools. There was no federal support for testing in schools prior to the start of the Administration.
Standing Up New Federal Surge Free Testing Sites: To help states and communities that need additional testing capacity as they battle Omicron, the Administration has rapidly stood up many new, federal free testing sites across the nation over the past several weeks. Already, there are 18 accessible sites operating in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Washington D.C.—with approximately 20 additional sites opening soon. These new federal sites have been effective in ensuring our hardest-hit and high-risk communities have equitable access to testing, with initial data showing that over three in four tests at the New York and New Jersey sites—sites that have been open the longest—have been administered to people of color.
These actions build on the significant steps the Administration has taken since Day One on testing to:
Increase Overall Testing Supply in the U.S.: Starting last February, the Administration has used the Defense Production Act, industrial mobilization and advance purchase commitments to ramp up supply of testing, including at-home, rapid tests. This includes $3 billion in advance purchase commitments this Fall, which allowed domestic testing manufacturers to increase production, add factory lines, increase staffing, and move up manufacturing timelines. As a result, the U.S. went from 24 million at-home, rapid tests on the market in August, to 46 million in October, to 100 million in November, to over 300 million in December, to 375 million in January. This is on top of the work the Administration has done to increase capacity for lab-based COVID-19 testing; the U.S. is now conducting more lab-based tests per capita than many peer countries, including Germany, Canada, and Japan.
Increase the Number of Tests Authorized in the U.S.: In March, to bring more at-home, rapid tests to market, the Administration worked to create a new, streamlined pathway for manufacturers to more quickly receive authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their tests. This accelerated pathway has been successfully used by at least six manufacturers this year. In addition, using resources from the American Rescue Plan, the Administration launched a new, innovative partnership between NIH and FDA last October to help manufacturers further accelerate authorization. The first two tests to use this pathway were authorized in December—weeks, if not months, ahead of schedule. These actions have paid off: When the President took office, there were zero at-home, rapid tests on the market. Today, there are nine on the market. This gives consumers more options and increases competition to lower prices.
Increase the Number of Places to Get Tested in the U.S.: Since January 2021, the Administration has more than quadrupled the number of pharmacies participating in the federal program for in-store testing—from 2,500 to over 10,000. At the President’s direction, FEMA has provided states, Tribes, and territories with 100 percent reimbursement for a range of testing costs, including state-run testing sites, since January 2021. Overall, there are now over 20,000 federally-supported free testing sites nationwide, with more pharmacies joining the federal free testing program each week. In addition, the Administration has stood up new federal free surge testing sites in areas of need, with more opening each week.
Increase Access to Free Testing in the U.S.: From the start, the Administration has taken significant action to reduce the cost of testing and increase access to free testing. Last February, the Administration required insurers to cover provider-ordered testing for free, including for asymptomatic individuals. The Administration also acted to ensure Medicaid programs cover all COVID-19 testing, and invested nearly $5 billion to cover testing costs for uninsured individuals—resulting in over 47 million tests covered. In addition to expanding the number of free testing sites to over 20,000 nationwide, the Administration delivers 2.5 million tests to long-term care facilities each week, and also launched a program to distribute 50 million free at-home tests to thousands of locations, including community health centers and rural health clinics that serve our hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. The announcements made today and earlier this week build on this work and will further ensure all Americans have equitable access to free testing.