Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Includes Velázquez Amendments
Washington, DC – As part of the INVEST in America Act, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved three amendments authored by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), which will help guide New York City’s efforts to modernize its infrastructure, all while keeping the needs of working families at the forefront.
“As Congress passes a generational commitment to rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, it is critical that our working families see the benefits,” said Velázquez. “The provisions that I have authored prioritize the health of communities that have for too long been disproportionately hurt by environmental injustice and job loss. I'm proud that this bill will give a voice to those living in public housing when a new project is being considered, create new jobs in the green workforce for New Yorkers, and move away from the over-policing low-level fare evasions in public transportation."
Velazquez’s first amendment would guarantee that public housing residents and affordable housing programs are considered when outlining how federal infrastructure projects can impact the environment and the public health of disproportionately exposed communities.
The amendment would also require a Climate Resilient Transportation Infrastructure study to consider the needs of an infrastructure project and help to create opportunities for individuals registered with the New York City’s one-stop career center in the climate resilient workforce.
Velázquez's second amendment will require the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) to detail the amount of resources law enforcement and transit agencies will save if they don’t enforce fare evasion policies when fare-free transit is made available.
Her last amendment would help secure funding for New York City’s tree planting projects, making them eligible for the $7 billion investment that will be provided by the Transportation Alternatives Program under the bill. The program, over 5 years, would allow for tree projects to access $1.2 billion in federal funds yearly.