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Here’s What’s in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Spending Bill

State and local governments are set to receive billions if the legislation passes, including funding to support cybersecurity, broadband, transit, roads, water and more. Here are the details.

Aerial view of five workers digging.
A bipartisan infrastructure bill now under debate in the U.S. Senate promises more than $500 billion in new spending — including massive programs that will benefit state and local government.

The spending, contained in a 2,700-page bill passed by the House of Representatives and going through amendments in the Senate now, covers a wide range of programs but delivers the bulk of the funding to roads, bridges, transit and water. Here are the broad funding areas, as outlined in a White House fact sheet:

The specifics of the bill are fluid, and exact amounts could change. But it promises many upgrades for state and local governments, as well as grant money those jurisdictions would disburse.

One direct area of funding for state, local and tribal governments would be in cybersecurity. The bill establishes a grant program with $1 billion of funding through Fiscal Year 2025 to improve jurisdictions’ security posture.

It also establishes the Cyber Response and Recovery Fund, which the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency would be able to use to assist state, local and tribal governments as well as private-sector organizations in the aftermath of a cyber incident. The fund would receive $20 million each year for seven years.

Broadband also receives one of the largest single spending lines in the bill, with $65 billion promised to bring high-speed Internet to more Americans in areas where it is either prohibitively expensive or unavailable. Doug Brake, director of broadband and spectrum policy for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, praised the bill for widening the definition of areas considered “unserved.”

“This change will prioritize funds toward areas lacking 25/3 Mbps broadband, rather than 100/100, which means a better focus on connecting the truly unserved and more flexibility to achieve greater coverage,” Brake said in a statement. “Permanent expansion of ‘affordable connectivity’ low-income subsidies is also a major plus, which hopefully congress will fund into the future.”

Road and bridge projects receive $121 billion, which includes $11 billion specifically for safety-related projects such as cyclist and pedestrian protection efforts. Meanwhile, $39 billion would go toward public transit for modernization and improved accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities. Another $7.5 billion would go toward electric and low-emission buses and ferries, and Amtrak would receive $66 billion.

“Counties appreciate increases in flexible grant programs, the creation of a new bridge investment program and meaningful commitments to transportation safety,” said Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties, in a statement. “Additionally, raising the cap on Private Activity Bonds will facilitate the construction of infrastructure projects that will enhance the quality of life for many residents.”

The bill puts $105 billion toward water projects, about half of which would go toward resilience and half of which would go toward clean water efforts such as the replacement of lead service lines. Federal rule changes have recently dramatically expanded the responsibility of water utilities in replacing lead pipes.

Although the bill has bipartisan support, it could take months to pass as legislators wrangle with the prospect of passing a second bill with more spending.
Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.