Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Passed!
The Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act yesterday that would provide $550 Billion in new spending over 5 years. This substantial investment in the nation’s infrastructure will prove critical as we aim to develop smart cities and communities across the country.
In fact, we are pleased to announce that the bill contains the provisions of the Moving First Act that would authorize the 2015 Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Cities Challenge program, a competitive grant program once administered by the Department of Transportation. The Moving First Act, sponsored by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Richard Burr (R-LA), has long been supported by the Smart Cities Council through its policy working group. The bill would set aside funding for communities of all sizes to compete for grant funding by proposing innovative solutions to a variety of transportation challenges faced by communities including reducing congestion, helping first responders to assist public safety, and improving the environment.
Allocations under the Moving FIRST Act:
- Large and mid-sized city awards: Two awards annually, up to $50 million for the jurisdiction of each size, capped at $80 million total annually
- Rural community and regional partnerships: Two awards annually, totaling up to $20 million total, with a requirement that no less than 20% of the available funding go to rural projects.
The infrastructure package also contains a provision called the “Smart Community Resource Center” that requires the Department of Transportation to make public on an Internet website a compilation of resources or links to resources for States and local communities to use in developing and implementing intelligent transportation systems program and smart community transportation programs. These provisions will enhance collaboration between federal, state and local entities to develop smart transportation systems. The Smart Cities Council policy working group has also long supported the development of a smart cities resource guide across the federal government.
Listen to Steve Crout, Director of Policy and Resilience Programs at the Smart Cities Council interview Steve Philips, Co-Chair, Federal Law and Policy, Partner, DLA Piper just prior to the bill passing. Get the latest on the complexities of the legislative process and the politics involved. Listen here Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Passes in US Senate.