JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Note: The video above is from a previous report.)
Help is the way for families across Florida after a historic bill was recently passed by the U.S. Congress.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried held a press conference in Jacksonville Wednesday morning to discuss the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and its impact on Florida.
Several priorities outlined in the Federal Partnership Plan unveiled by Commissioner Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services earlier this year were part of the final infrastructure package, including investments in electric vehicles, rural broadband, and clean energy and drinking water.
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill was passed by Congress last week and now is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
"This is a historic bill, making the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure in nearly a century," Fried said.
Fried explained how the bill will create jobs across the state, influence economic growth and make sure the U.S. remains competitive among the global market.
"Here in Jacksonville specifically the impact will be widely felt from helping rebuild our roads and bridges to being safe and more resilient in the face of climate change," Fried said. "It will be better for the lives of Floridians and build a brighter future for our state."
In Florida, there are more than 400 bridges and 35,000 miles of highways, all of which are in poor condition, according to Fried.
With this bill, Florida would be eligible to receive more than $245 million to go towards bridge replacement and road repairs.
When it comes to public transportation, the bill will allow the state to receive $2.6 billion over five years to improve transportation options.
One priority outlined in the Federal Partnership Plan was Florida's need to improve resources in rural communities, especially broadband internet access. "Thirteen percent of Florida households are without internet," according to Fried.
Included in the infrastructure package, Florida will revive over $100 million to provide internet coverage across the state. Additionally, nearly 6.5 million Floridians will be eligible for the affordability connectivity benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
During the press conference, Fried announced other benefits from the bill that will be used to help with extreme weather events and infrastructure developments across the state.
"It is clear, this is a big deal for Florida, the state as a whole, and our entire nation. Creating jobs and economic growth while building a safer more sustainable future," Fried said.
You can watch the full press conference below.