Taking a closer look at the White House infrastructure report: Why did South Dakota Receive a C-?

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– On Monday, the White House released reports for each state that highlight the needs of each state for investments proposed by President Biden in the American Jobs Plan.

“For decades, infrastructure in South Dakota has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” South Dakota’s report states. It says the American Jobs Plan will make a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure.

South Dakota received a C- on its Infrastructure Report Card. Minnesota and Iowa both received a C grade in their reports.

Transportation

Transportation was the first topic discussed in the report. South Dakota has 1,038 bridges and more than 2,031 miles of highway in poor condition, costing commuting drivers around $562 per year in costs related to driving on roads in need of repair. Commuting times have increased by 1.2% on average since 2011 throughout the state.

Looking at our neighboring states, Iowa has 4,571 bridges and 403 miles of highway in poor condition. Minnesota has 661 bridges and over 4,986 miles of poor condition highways.

South Dakotans who choose to commute on public transportation are spending an extra 97.7% of their time commuting. Non-white households are 2.7 times more likely to commute on public transportation and 47% of trains and transit vehicles in the state are past their useful life.

Iowa residents spend an extra 30.4% of their time commuting and non-white households are 3.9 times more likely to commute via public transit. 38% of the trains and other transportation vehicles are past their useful life.

Minnesotans commuting via public transportation spend an extra 49.8% of their time commuting and non-white households are 2.8 times more likely to use public transportation for commuting. 11% of Minnesota’s trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past their useful life.

Broadband

13% of South Dakota residents live in an area where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. In addition, 48% of South Dakotans live in areas with only one internet provider. Where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach, with 15% of households not having an internet subscription.

South Dakota is in the same ballpark as neighboring states, with 13.4% of Iowans live where there is no broadband and 61% live where there is only one provider. 16% of Iowa households do not have an internet subscription. In Minnesota, 11.6% of people live where there is no broadband, 62.7% live where there is only one internet provider and 12.1% do not have an internet subscription.

Childcare

In South Dakota, there is an estimated $125 million gap in maintenance and improvements needed for schools. The report also claims 43% of the state’s residents live in areas where there is no childcare provided.

Iowa is experiencing an estimated $499 million gap in school needed maintenance and 23% of residents live in a childcare desert. In Minnesota, there is an estimated $818 million gap in what schools need to do for maintenance and improvements and 26% of residents do not live in an area with access to childcare.

Manufacturing

Throughout the state of South Dakota, manufacturers account for more than 10.3% of the total output in the state. They employ 46,000 workers or 10.27% of South Dakota’s workforce.

Iowa manufacturers account for more than 18.7% of total output for the state, employing 228,000 workers, or 14.3% of the state’s workforce. In Minnesota, manufacturers account for more than 14% of the total output, employing 321,000 workers, or 10.8% of the state’s workforce.

Energy

An average low-income family in the state spends 8-10% of their income on home energy costs, which can be a financial burden.

South Dakota has an outsized potential for innovative energy technologies, including carbon capture and sequestration and geothermal energy generation, which create good-paying union jobs.

As of 2019, there were 11,458 South Dakotans working in clean energy.

In our neighboring state of Iowa, an average low-income family spends 6-8% of their income on home energy costs. In Minnesota, that percentage is 4-6%.

In 2019, there were 32,057 Iowans and 61,805 Minnesotans working in clean energy.

Housing and drinking water

42,000 renters in South Dakota are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, partially due to a lack of available and affordable housing.

The reported stated that 146,000 renters in Iowa and 282,000 renters in Minnesota are rent burdened.

Over the next 20 years, South Dakota’s drinking water infrastructure will require an additional $730 million in funding.

Iowa’s drinking water infrastructure will require $7.9 billion and Minnesota’s will require $7.5 billion in additional funding over the next 20 years.

Resilient infrastructure

From 2010-2020, South Dakota experienced 12 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in expenses.

During this time frame, Iowa experienced 32 extreme weather events, resulting in up to $50 billion in damages and Minnesota experienced 11, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages expenses.

Veterans’ health

There are over 65,000 veterans living in South Dakota, with 44.95% over the age of 65.

Iowa is home to over 206,430 veterans and 52.9% of them are over the age of 65. There are 327,629 veterans in Minnesota and 54.5% are over the age of 65.

What will the American Jobs Plan do?

According to the report, the American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform the nation’s transportation infrastructure, with $115 billion for repairing roads and bridges. It will also modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment.

There would be a $100 billion investment to bring universal, reliable, high-speed and affordable broadband coverage to every family in the country.

The plan will modernize our nation’s schools and early learning facilities, as well as build new ones across South Dakota. In addition, the plan will invest $400 billion to help older adults and people with disabilities who need a home and community-based services, as well as improve the quality of caregiving jobs.

$300 billion of the plan will be invested to retool and revitalize American manufactures, including providing incentives for them to invest in an innovative energy project in coal communities.

Upgrading low-income homes to make them more energy-efficient through a historic investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program is part of the plan, along with expanding tax credits to support home energy upgrades. The plan will also invest in building the clean energy industry, through a reformed and expended Section 45Q tax credit and extending renewable energy tax credits.

A $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water.

As far as housing goes, the president proposes investing over $200 billion to increase the housing supply and address the affordable housing crisis.

The president is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.

For veteran’s health, the president is calling for $18 billion to improve the infrastructure of VA health care facilities to ensure the delivery of world-class, state of the art care to veterans enrolled in the VA health care system, including improvements to ensure appropriate care for women and older veterans.

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