Union Members Lead the Fight to Invest in Our Country's Infrastructure

For decades, infrastructure in Minnesota has suffered from chronic underinvestment. The need for action is clear: Minnesota’s infrastructure received a C grade on its Infrastructure Report Card according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The American Jobs Plan will make a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure. Our union will continue to advocate for federal and state legislation that invests in the working-class, our workforce, and our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Minnesota there are 661 bridges and over 4,986 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 8.6% in Minnesota and on average, each driver pays $543 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. With the 35W brudge collapse, Minnesota know all too well the cost to our state in terms of chronic underinvestment in terms of lives and dollars. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations' transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Minnesotans who take public transportation spend an extra 49.8% of their time commuting and non-White households are 2.8 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 11% of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past their useful life and need investment. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion federal investment.
  • RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Minnesota has experienced 11 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.
  • DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Minnesota’s drinking water infrastructure will require $7.5 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities by replacing outdated water systems and infrastructure.
  • HOUSING: In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 282,000 renters in Minnesota are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The President proposes investing over $200 billion to increase housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.
  • BROADBAND: 11.6% of Minnesotans live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 62.7% of Minnesotans live in areas where there is only one such internet provider. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. 12.1% of Minnesota households do not have an internet subscription. The American Jobs Plan will invest $100 billion to bring universal, reliable, high-speed, and affordable coverage to every family in America.
  • CAREGIVING: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities are in need of home and community-based services. The President’s plan will invest $400 billion to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.
  • CHILD CARE: In Minnesota, there is an estimated $818 million gap in what schools need to do maintenance and make improvements and 26% of residents live in a childcare desert. The American Jobs Plan will modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities and build new ones in neighborhoods across Minnesota and the country.
  • MANUFACTURING: Manufacturers account for more than 14% of total output in Minnesota, employing 321,000 workers, or 10.8% of the state’s workforce. The American Job’s Plan will invest $300 billion to retool and revitalize American manufacturers.
  • HOME ENERGY: In Minnesota, an average low-income family spends 4-6% of their income on home energy costs forcing tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine or other essentials. The American Jobs Plan will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient through a historic investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program, a new Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance building improvements, and expanded tax credits to support home energy upgrades.
  • VETERANS HEALTH: Minnesota is home to over 327,629 veterans, 7.3% of whom are women and 54.5% of whom are over the age of 65. The President is calling for $18 billion to improve the infrastructure of VA health care facilities to ensure the delivery of world-class, state of the art care to veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. This includes improvements to ensure appropriate care for women and older veterans. This investment will benefit Council 5 members who work at VA hospitals in our state.

Executive Director Julie Bleyhl said, "In addition to massive federal spending to invest in our country's infrastructure, the Minnesota Legislature must heed the call of Minnesotans to fully fund MnDOT operations and the maintanence, inspection, and design budget line items, raise the gas tax to fund infrastructure projects, and ensure the legislative intent of the Transportation Taxpayer Accountability Act (TTAA) is followed and that MnDOT secures contracts of infrastructure projects when their bids come in lower than third parties. Outsourcing infrastructure projects to private entities is more expensive and leads to worse outcomes."

Click here to watch Mark Pozanc, AFSCME Local 868, Council 5 testify in support of additional legislative funding into our transportation system.

Source: The White House, "American Jobs Plan: The Need for Action in Minnesota", April 2021.