Communities across the country continue to face unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. I’m proud that Rhode Island has been a leader in the fight against this pandemic. However, we have more work to do to overcome the public health and economic challenges that lie ahead. In addition to several coronavirus relief bills, the House recently passed the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion transformational package that will stimulate our economy and make considerable improvements to our infrastructure.
From roads and highways to bridges, ports, and harbors, this legislation will provide the funding needed to fix and upgrade Rhode Island’s infrastructure while spurring financial investment in our communities and expanding economic opportunity for our workers. It also includes significant investments to modernize water infrastructure, improve school facilities, expand affordable housing, and spread broadband internet access to underserved areas.
The Moving Forward Act prioritizes funding for needed capital investments, but I also worked hard to ensure we fund career and technical education to prepare the workforce of tomorrow that we will need to build and maintain our infrastructure. This bill contains several provisions I helped write that will create a task force on developing a 21st Century surface transportation workforce and provide funding to support workforce development and apprenticeship programs in transportation, energy, construction, and other targeted industries. To help address the climate crisis and tap into renewable energy, there is a provision that extends tax credits for offshore wind projects like the one off Block Island.
Further, this package includes language to update and modernize the transportation process for the one in four Americans living with a disability. Among the provisions to improve accessibility are the establishment of a one-stop paratransit pilot program and a requirement to streamline and make more transparent the Department of Transportation’s accessibility complaint process.
To stay up to date on my latest efforts to help rebuild Rhode Island, please visit my website and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.