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Duckworth highlights the part of the federal infrastructure bill for clean water

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) – Illinois is receiving $ 17 billion from the infrastructure plan President Joe Biden signed this week. Senator Tammy Duckworth says the state will see the effects of this plan quickly.

Gray TV’s Illinois Capitol Bureau spoke to Duckworth about part of the law of which she is most proud.

You have probably seen or heard people talk about lead pipe problems in Illinois for years. State lawmakers passed a plan to remove these pipes earlier this year. Duckworth continued that effort by pushing for the water infrastructure portion of the new federal law.

Most lawmakers and policy experts can tell you that Illinois has more lead water pipes than any other state. Duckworth said the state owned 23% of all lead pipes in the country.

Of course, Illinois is also long behind on water infrastructure projects that are only needed to keep funding going. The state is now receiving $ 1.7 billion to repair the outdated drinking and wastewater infrastructure.

“You will see these water projects right away,” said Duckworth. “I would even think very early next year. So I am very happy that we succeeded and that the water infrastructure has played such a large part in it. “

Most of the state’s lead pipes are in Chicago and a suburb of Cook County. However, Duckworth noted that many minority communities across Illinois are also addressing the same issue.

People can also expect thousands of new jobs through the Infrastructure Act. Duckworth said the plan would help many people get high-paying union jobs in construction, engineering and manufacturing companies.

Minority and women-owned companies will have top priority in contracts and procurement for the projects included in the $ 1.2 trillion plan.

Still, Duckworth said the Senate must also pass the Build Back Better initiative. An important part of this plan is making sure Americans can get back to work without having to worry about childcare.

“We will invest in building more day-care centers so that parents who work outside the home can actually find care for their children. And if you have a 3 or 4 year old there will be a universal Pre-K too, ”Duckworth said.

She stressed that the Infrastructure Act is critical to creating new jobs, but the Build Back Better plan ensures that the family support system is in place. Duckworth said the lack of childcare is one of the main reasons people haven’t returned to work, especially in the service industry.

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better law on Friday morning with 220 votes to 213. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer hopes the Democrats can pass the plan out of their chamber before Christmas.

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