Senator Patrick Leahy touts benefits for Vermont in U.S. Infrastructure Bill

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The Senate President Pro Tem is back in Vermont Friday, following what he calls a transformational week in the senate. In addition to passing the infrastructure bill, the senate also immediately passed a budget resolution, backed by budget chair Bernie Sanders, full of democratic priorities.

“At 4:30 in the morning, when you’ve been there for 15 hours, it’s not nearly as pretty as looking at Lake Champlain from an airplane,” Sen. Leahy said.

What does the work in Washington mean for Vermont? Senator Leahy says the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill would bring nearly $2 billion to fix state highways and replace bridges. He’s also secured $14 million for clean water projects on Lake Champlain.

The green mountain state should get a boost in connecting all Vermonters with broadband, including 60,000 who live in rural areas. Leahy outlined a new program as part of the effort.

“Permanently establish an emergency voucher broadband program,” he said. “It’s a $30 per month voucher for low income families, so they can choose the internet service that works for them.”

Leahy also took a moment to assure Vermonters, there is enough funding to address the delta variant, as hospitalizations worsen in the state and nationwide. He says Vermont has set the example for the rest of the country.

“It’s frustrating that there are still states where the governors still say its a choice,” Sen. Leahy said. “They think computer chips are being put in their arm. It’s baloney, this isn’t the 16th century.”

The Infrastructure bill still needs to pass in the U.S. House.

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