President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, are a historic shot in the arm for the U.S. They have energized our deteriorating economy after the chaos created by the last president and his administration. Both Acts go far beyond the direct stimulus payments to citizens and businesses, expanded unemployment benefits, and nationwide mobilization of COVID-19 vaccines.

In Iowa we are experiencing unprecedented access to funding for road and bridge upgrades, drinking and wastewater projects, programs that promote families, employment, agriculture, and statewide broadband.

For example, Dubuque is addressing aging infrastructure and water treatment issues, and expanding broadband. Marshalltown officials are using infrastructure funds for their continuing recovery from the massive destruction caused by the 2018 tornado and the 2020 derecho. Winneshiek Co. is applying $300,000 toward a wastewater project in Festina, plus approximately $1 million for roads and bridges. $500,000 is allocated for a non-profit daycare in Decorah, and the list goes on.

Closer to home, $1,144,800 has been allocated to replace the Elwood Creek bridge. Delwood School now has money for asbestos removal and improving the school’s gym. Clinton Co. supervisors are deliberating on how to use $9.2 million available for Clinton Co.

According to the Broadband Now, Iowa ranks 45th in U.S for broadband connectivity. Broadband expansion will mirror the impact of electricity and telephone lines expansion in the 20th century. The $100 million minimum allocation will be a major factor in bridging some of Iowa’s educational gaps and open up remote job opportunities for rural Iowans.

These projects are only a sampling of Iowa’s much needed upgrades, which translates into money flowing into our economy and the generation of good paying jobs. To those legislators who supported President Biden by voting yes for the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I say thank you. To those who voted no, I pray that you will start putting the welfare of our country before your political ideology.

Julie Ann Neely