WASHINGTON D.C., DC — There could be big changes coming for Connecticut infrastructure as U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy await a vote on a bill negotiated over the weekend.
They said Monday that the bill will increase funding for major areas of state infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways and water ways.
However, Blumenthal emphasized that while this bill will enable states to make repairs, it is not enough funding to completely rebuild in these areas of improvement. He and Murphy plan on fighting for bigger, broader commitments to state infrastructure to boost Connecticut's transport-based economy and put more residents to work.
"The best way to view this bipartisan proposal is that it is a very profoundly significant down payment," Blumenthal said. "It's a start. A good start, but only a first step."
He says the bill has received bipartisan support in the Senate.
"There are areas where we can come together. This one is perhaps the best example, because every state, red or blue, has roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports that need upgrading a modernizing," he said.
Part of the senators' fight for increased, state-specific funding was the monetary split between state railroads and Amtrak. State and federal-run railways receive $24 billion and Amtrak-run railways receive $6 billion in funding.
Additionally, Murphy said the bill includes a $100 million increase in funding for projects to improve Long Island Sound, like sewage testing and waste management. The money will be divided between New York and Connecticut, as the Sound concerns both states.
Murphy said that the bill is arguably more impactful in Connecticut than other states, given its economic reliance on transport and exports to neighbors like New York.
"The potential here is for this bill to be an economic game changer for Connecticut," Murphy said.
Both legislators expect the bill to be reviewed and voted on by the end of the week at the earliest.
Blumenthal said that in the case the bill is not approved, the August recess will be postponed if necessary.
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