What have Kansans gotten out of President Biden's Infrastructure Act?
Road improvements, cleaner water, a power system better able to withstand extreme weather, those are just some of the benefits the White House says Kansans have already begun to see from the president's infrastructure plan.
The Biden Administration Tuesday celebrated the act's one year anniversary with a report detailing what different states have gotten out of the more than $1 trillion legislation.
That report shows Kansas has gotten more than a billion dollars for road and bridge work across the state, more than $8 million to provide clean drinking water with almost half of it dedicated to lead pipe replacement projects, and $14.3 million to build a network of EV chargers across the state.
But, many programs are still just coming online, including things like grants to help low-income Kansans get affordable internet access.
The Affordable Connectivity Program cuts internet bills by up to $30 per month , or $75 a month for households on tribal lands, as well as offers a one-time $100 discount off a connected device.
Already, the U.S. Commerce Department says about 78,000 Kansans have applied for the help, out of an estimated 412,000 households that are eligible.
"It's a program that is just getting off the ground," said Winnie Stachelberg, the Infrastructure Coordinator with the Department of the Interior. "I was just on a call with Sec. (Gina) Raimondo who is leading the effort on broadband and connectivity. She couldn't be more excited about the potential, about being able to connect this country. Here we are, 2022, we should all be connected to the internet."
To be eligible for the program you have to already be getting help from a federal program like food stamps, veterans' pension plans or housing assistance.
Meanwhile, the City of Wichita has won a $4 million grant to buy electric buses to replace the transit department's aging fleet of diesel buses. According to the Commerce Department's report, the city wants to have an entirely electric fleet by 2032.
"This infrastructure law is not about repairing roads and bridges, it's not about building the way we used to build. It's about building for the future," Stachelberg said. "It's about ensuring that what we are building...that we're doing it in a way that addresses climate change and is resilient as well."