Let’s get right to the point: ITPI has just prepared and posted “Maximizing Federal Infrastructure Opportunities: ITPI Infrastructure Resources,” a guide for state and local governments.

Now some background.

In November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) was signed into law. This historic $1.2 trillion investment provides support to repair and modernize public infrastructure around the country, including public transit, rail, transportation infrastructure, bridges, water, wastewater, and more. In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law. It will revitalize U.S. manufacturing and grow clean energy while also creating good jobs. These public investments have and will continue to create opportunities for states and localities to improve and build public infrastructure that truly serves the community.

According to a White House statement about the infrastructure law, “These long overdue investments will take much-needed steps to improve public health, reduce pollution, and deliver economic revitalization to communities that have been overburdened, underserved, and left behind.” By signing the Inflation Reduction Act, another White House statement said, “President Biden is delivering on his promise to build an economy that works for working families.”

Let’s hope.

Thanks to Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and now-former Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the infrastructure law includes a provision that puts the thumb on the scale for the private sector on some of the funds being spent through incentives for state and local governments to sign public-private partnerships. The arrangements are closer to privatization than partnership: They are essentially expensive loans that hand some level of control over roads, water systems, school buildings, and other public infrastructure to corporations and private investors.

But state and local governments can have a tremendous role in maintaining public control over public funds, assuring they are spent for the public good and don’t end up on as corporate profit.

In the new In the Public Interest guide, we have collected a number of resources that may be useful as local and state governments make important decisions about infrastructure.

Maximizing Federal Infrastructure Opportunities: ITPI Infrastructure Resources” includes lists of questions to ask to understand infrastructure priorities, tools to analyze procurement options, best practices to ensure good jobs, sustainability, and public control, and several sector-specific materials.

Still have questions or concerns over the best way to spend federal infrastructure and inflation-reduction funds to benefit everyone? Get in touch with us at info@inthepublicinterest.org.

Shahrzad Habibi
Research and Policy Director

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