August 10, 2021

Cortez Masto Delivers Historic Investments for Nevada in Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after passing a bipartisan infrastructure package in the Senate. The funding Senator Cortez Masto secured makes historic investments in Nevada, from upgrades to our roads and bridges to support for water recycling projects and wildfire mitigation. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes numerous bills introduced as part of the Senator’s Innovation State Initiative and will help Nevada prepare for a sustainable future and create good-paying jobs and economic growth across the state.

“Creating jobs in Nevada and strengthening our state’s economy are top priorities for me, and this bipartisan legislation will make an enormous difference to communities, small businesses, and workers all across our state. When this bill began to develop, I worked hard to make sure it would include my legislation to combat two of the greatest crises facing our state: drought and wildfires. Today, I’m so pleased to see them pass the Senate on a bipartisan vote, along with so many of the bills I’ve been working on to combat climate change, reward hardworking families, and create jobs in communities throughout Nevada. This is what we can do when we work together. I’m eager to see these historic investments uplift our state and spur an economic recovery that will benefit all Nevada families.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was drafted with bipartisan support and will create good union jobs all across Nevada by making historic investments in Nevada’s economy - from transportation and infrastructure to broadband. It includes funding to upgrade Nevada’s roads and airports, as well as new investments in our public transit system and money for electrifying our buses. The bill will also help ensure every Nevadan has access to reliable high-speed internet.

Senator Cortez Masto secured the following provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that would benefit Nevada:

·       Drought Mitigation: Cortez Masto’s legislation to combat drought and protect Nevada’s water supply, including Lake Mead, is included. The bill includes $450 million for a competitive grant program for large-scale water recycling projects across the Western U.S. This new program could help fund a regional water recycling project that will produce enough water to serve more than 500,000 households in Southern California and Nevada. In total, the bill sets aside $8.3 billion for Western water infrastructure and drought resilience.

·       Wildfire Management and Mitigation Funding: The bill includes provisions Cortez Masto authored to provide $3.4 billion for wildfire prevention activities, and an additional $10 million for wildfire detection equipment, like Lake Tahoe’s successful ALERTWildfire camera network. The wildfire funding in the bill totals $8 billion for prevention, risk reduction, detection, and restoration.

·       Investments in Our Domestic Critical Mineral Supply Chain: The bipartisan legislation includes Cortez Masto’s bill to promote Nevada’s mining industry and set up a sustainable critical mineral supply chain, which does not currently exist in the United States. Right now, critical minerals like lithium and cobalt mined in Nevada are largely shipped overseas for processing and manufacturing purposes, but this measure will help Nevada expand its industry and create more jobs in the processing and recycling sectors.

·       Investments in Our Students: This new infrastructure package will also include Cortez Masto’s Renew America’s Schools, Safe Routes to All Schools, and Connected Rural Schools Acts, which would help keep students safe when walking to class, upgrade our schools to make them more energy efficient, and help close the digital divide for rural students. The bill also includes funding to purchase electric school buses.  

·       Electric Vehicle (EV) Production and Deployment: Cortez Masto’s bills to create an EV commission, develop a national strategy for the electrification of the transportation sector, and to map EV infrastructure were included in the bill. The bill also provides the nation with the resources it needs to build out a truly national network of EV chargers.

The package also contains multiple additional bills derived from the Senator’s Innovation State Initiative, including $16.9 million in funding for the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act and funding Cortez Masto advocated for to promote battery manufacturing and recycling projects across the U.S. In addition, Cortez Masto secured passage of her provision to create new jobs by allowing former hard rock mining sites to be used for innovative solar and other renewable energy projects. The bill also includes Cortez Masto’s Moving FIRST Act to promote smart city innovations in transportation systems in communities of all sizes and multiple provisions to promote good-paying jobs in transportation and better connect the transportation system to affordable housing.