Press Releases

Rice Supports Final Passage of $715 Billion House Infrastructure Bill

Legislation includes $19.39 million for projects in South Hempstead and the Five Towns, and Rice-led auto safety provisions

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Washington, July 1, 2021 | Stuart Malec (202-225-5516) | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04) voted in support of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act (H.R. 3684), comprehensive infrastructure legislation that would modernize the nation’s roads, bridges, transit, rail, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and more. The bill also includes federal funding for three infrastructure projects in New York’s 4th Congressional District, and it includes three provisions Rice led to improve auto safety and prevent further tragedy on America’s roadways.  

The NY-04 projects included in the bill were directly requested by Rice as “Member Designated Projects.” Project descriptions are below. 

  • Long Beach Road Improvements/Hamlet of South Hempstead: Project would resurface Long Beach Rd. in South Hempstead, extending its service life and creating new ADA compliant ramps and crosswalks. It would also include a study of the drainage system and other pedestrian/traffic safety measures. Funding secured by Rice: $4.78 million. 
  • Bannister Creek Rehabilitation/Five Towns/Reynolds Channel: Project would rehabilitate the Bannister Creek Bridge, which a NYSDOT inspection revealed several structural deficiencies. The bridge is 70 years old and services the Atlantic Beach Toll Bridge. Funding Secured by Rice: $4.94 million
  • West Broadway Rehabilitation/Village of Cedarhurst & Hamlet of Woodmere: Project would resurface 2.2 miles of West Broadway, extending its service life and creating new ADA compliant ramps and crosswalks. Funding Secured by Rice: $9.67 million

“Our infrastructure is crumbling, and today we took a bold step forward to fix it,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “The bill we passed today includes funding to rebuild our nation’s roads, bridges, transit, and water infrastructure. And I am thrilled it includes the funding I requested for projects on Long Island which will directly address some of our pressing critical infrastructure needs at home.” 

Also included in the final passage of the INVEST in America Act, were three auto safety provisions led by Rice that would: 

  • Create a national study into the effectiveness of state laws designed to prevent drunk driving child endangerment. A Government Accountability Office study would examine laws like New York State’s Leandra’s Law, which made it a felony offense for an individual to drive drunk or impaired with a child passenger in the vehicle, and help determine the effectiveness of other states adopting similar laws.  
  • Create a $15 million annual competitive grant program at DOT for states to educate the public on the dangers of drug-impaired driving. States would use this grant funding to deploy strategies using the best available evidence for effectiveness, and states would report back to DOT with an evaluation of the progress made towards reducing drug-impaired driving within the state. States would be authorized to share grant funding with local governments, Indian Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, state or local prosecution offices, and state or local law enforcement agencies. The grant program would be available to address driving under the influence of marijuana, opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, fentanyl, or phencyclidine. 
  • Require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to update its standards for seat back integrity to address preventable fatalities and life-threatening injuries that have occurred as a result of motor vehicle seat failure during a collision. Despite thousands of deaths and injuries from seat back collapse, NHTSA has not updated its seat back integrity standards in over fifty years. 

The HALT Drunk Driving Act, legislation introduced by Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and co-led by Rice, was also included in the INVEST in America Act. The provision would require the inclusion of advanced, passive drunk driving prevention technology systems in all newly manufactured cars. 

“As District Attorney, I made cracking down on a drunk driving a top priority,” said Rice. “And now I am continuing to fight in Congress to make our roadways a safer place. I strongly believe that while we work to repair our transportation systems, we also have an obligation to address the many public safety shortcomings on our roads. My three auto safety provisions and the HALT Drunk Driving Act will save lives, and I’m thrilled they have been included in final passage of the House bill.”  

In total, the INVEST in America Act authorizes $715 billion for surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure. This includes $343 billion for roads and bridges, $109 billion for transit, $95 billion for passenger and freight rail, $117 billion for drinking water infrastructure and assistance, and $51.25 billion for wastewater infrastructure.  

Additional Resources on the INVEST in America Act:  

 

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