“Great News for Utah”: What Utahns are Saying about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help Utah expand and rebuild its roads, mitigate drought conditions, fulfill critical water needs, and prepare for and respond to wildfires without raising taxes or adding to the debt

WASHINGTON—Support grew across Utah this week for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, bipartisan infrastructure legislation negotiated by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and his colleagues. Details on how the bill would benefit Utah can be found here, and text of the legislation can be found here.

“Our bill is not perfect—it is paid for. I want to note that if the Democrats were to have written the bill entirely on their own, Utah would probably have ended up with the short end of the stick. Because of our involvement in this effort, some of our rural states like mine have been able to have a seat at the table. This means limiting the spending on bad policy that only benefits the rich, coastal cities in the East and the far West,” Senator Romney said on the Senate floor this week. “So, I’m proud of this bill because it benefits Americans across the country. For decades elected officials have talked about addressing our nation’s infrastructure. This infrastructure bill turns that talk into reality, without raising taxes on hard working Americans or adding to our debt.”

“We’re thrilled with [money] for the Navajo Utah Water Settlement to bring drinking water to our Navajo neighbors. Also happy to see other Utah priorities, like the Central Utah Project and [money] for water storage, drought, [and]  fire mitigation. Thanks to Senator Romney for the great work.” Utah Governor Spencer Cox

“We are grateful for the funding for the Navajo Utah Water Settlement Act in the pending infrastructure bill, which will bring desperately needed drinking water to the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation. We commend Governor Cox, Senator Romney, and Senator Sinema for their leadership.” –Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation

“Transportation infrastructure is key to economic vitality and enhancing our quality of life, especially for fast growing states like Utah.  We appreciate Senator Romney’s good work to develop and advance provisions in the infrastructure bill that provide Utah with the flexibility and tools we need to tailor transportation solutions that meet our needs.” –Carlos Braceras, P.E., Executive Director, Utah Department of Transportation

“Senator Romney, I want to personally thank you for your support of the infrastructure bill and thank you for your leadership on this. Utah really needs this kind of visionary thinking and leadership and I want to offer whatever personal support I can. Again thank you for your leadership and you have my full personal support.”—Mike Caldwell, Mayor, City of Ogden, and President, League of Cities and Towns

“I appreciate Senator Romney’s work to reach a compromise which can garner bipartisan support for an infrastructure bill our country and our state desperately need.  Once again, the Senator has demonstrated his commitment to bipartisan leadership. I recognize this is a bill which does not please everyone, however, improving our transportation and broadband infrastructure is critical to our economic competitiveness in global markets and to provide good-paying jobs for our citizens.  I support this bill both in my capacity as Mayor and as Chair of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. If there is anything I can do to help advance this critical bill, please let me know how I can help.” –Jeff Silvestrini, Mayor, City of Millcreek and Chair, Wasatch Front Regional Council

“The funding provided in the bipartisan infrastructure bill will allow us to complete the Central Utah Project in half the time allowing us to deliver much needed additional water to the Wasatch front. This is great news for Utah and our efforts to combat the drought.” –Gene Shawcroft, Commissioner, Central Utah Water Conservancy District General Manager, Utah Colorado River

“Utah is the fastest growing state in the nation and is now facing its worst drought on record. These challenges illustrate the importance of additional investments in water conservation, water supply development and infrastructure. The bipartisan infrastructure bill is a great step forward as Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District works to cultivate a resilient water future for our community.” –Bart Forsyth, General Manager, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District

“Weber Basin Water Conservancy District would like to express our gratitude for the time and effort expended in securing additional funding for the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program. The WaterSMART program has augmented the District’s aggressive water conservation efforts. These efforts include the completion of a Drought Contingency Plan, secondary meter installations, lining of large canals, completion of a water conservation and management plan, and several other educational programs. We recognize the importance of conservation in our often water-short basin due to the effects of drought. Weber Basin Water Conservancy District is continually working to promote the conservation and efficient use of the limited water supply in Northern Utah. Continued funding of programs like WaterSMART ensure the completion of costly conservation programs are prioritized and aggressively pursued.” –Tage Flint, General Manager, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District

“We applaud Senator Romney’s leadership on this important legislation. The bill is critical for Utah’s water future given the current drought situation. It provides robust funding for programs that facilitate water infrastructure investment, comprehensive drought planning, and promotes water conservation measures. Washington County Water Conservancy District’s priorities are made possible through this legislation especially through the new funding opportunities available for water recycling and reuse projects that can help us to achieve the most efficient use of our limited water supplies.” –Zach Renstrom, General Manager, Washington County Water Conservancy District

“After weeks of negotiating the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, an agreement was reached and the U.S. Senate voted to bring the bipartisan deal to the Senate floor for consideration. The Salt Lake Chamber supports this historic investment that will help Utah expand and repair its roads, mitigate devastating drought conditions, fulfill critical water needs, and prepare for and respond to the wildfires. The investment in Utah’s infrastructure is not only key for the local economy but also vital in the competition of the global market. The Salt Lake Chamber  urges our delegation to advance meaningful infrastructure legislation to help ensure that our economy remains competitive.” –Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber

“UTA strongly supports the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and we commend the efforts of the bipartisan group of Senators, including Senator Mitt Romney, who have tirelessly worked to make this infrastructure bill a reality. This important legislation will provide for much-needed federal investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure, which includes funding for improvements and expansion to our public transit system here in Utah. This bipartisan infrastructure bill will help Utah build out the transportation infrastructure projects needed to address our state’s population growth, air quality, and traffic congestion challenges.” –Carlton Christensen, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Utah Transit Authority

“We recognize Senator Romney’s significant role in moving ahead a bipartisan infrastructure bill. This bill will provide improved mobility for the citizens of Utah and the United States. We appreciate the critical funding that this bill provides to smaller urban transit systems like Cache Valley Transit so that we can continue to connect individuals to the people and places that matter most.” –Todd Beutler, CEO and General Manager, Cache Valley Transit District

“Wasatch Front Regional Council is grateful for Senator Mitt Romney’s leadership as one of the primary authors and negotiators of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs  Act, giving Utah a seat at the table and advocating for Utah’s and the nation’s pressing infrastructure needs. As the fastest growing state in the nation over the past ten years, Utah is well-poised to put these infrastructure investments to work. Through our extensive and collaborative planning and prioritization processes, Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan identifies the priority investments needed in our roads, transit, and active transportation in the decades to come. This critically important infrastructure legislation, when paired with historic state investments in Utah’s multi-modal transportation system and local investments, will help Utah address its transportation needs into the future. And by reauthorizing the core transportation programs for five years, this legislation provides Utah the stability and predictability it needs for its infrastructure development. This legislation will help us to maintain a strong economy, good mobility and access, and high quality of life.” –Andrew Gruber, Executive Director, Wasatch Regional Council

“If our nation is going to invest tens of billions of dollars in broadband infrastructure, Americans should have an expectation that those investments will last and deliver meaningful service for decades. Fiber Networks are essential for delivering such service. Funding for such advanced networks should be targeted to those Americans most lacking in the ability to access sufficient service now, with funding directed to additional areas only after we’ve focused first efforts on those Americans most in need. Further, private industry is better at building and managing such fiber networks and any legislation should not favor government networks. If implemented properly, this bill could drive such results—but careful execution will be essential. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to talk through potential refinements to the legislation that could better ensure such outcomes and ultimately on the successful implementation of any programs created through such legislation once enacted.” –Brock Johansen, CEO, Emery Telcom

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill would be terrific news for the new Salt Lake International Airport. We have three more years of construction in front of us, and this financial support comes at exactly the right time for us to complete this project. The new Salt Lake City International Airport will help propel Utah’s economy forward for decades and decades to come, exactly the intent of infrastructure spending.” –Bill Wyatt, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City International Airport

“Increased funding of the Emergency Watershed Program is critical to Duchesne County’s citizens to help recover from wildfire damages and resulting flooding happening currently.  Likewise, Duchesne County supports the increased funding for wildfire mitigation and recovery in the Senate infrastructure package.  We thank Senator Romney for his hard work in fighting for these important issues impacting our County today.”  –Duchesne County Commissioners

“Cache Valley is facing unprecedented growth and at the same time we find ourselves in the midst of historic drought. The Senate infrastructure legislation makes valuable investments not just in roads, bridges, transit and airports but also much need water infrastructure and specifically western drought resilience for agriculture and communities, something we desperately need right now.”  –Holly Daines, Mayor, Logan City

“In our region (Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan Counties), the possibility for funding to improve rural infrastructure is paramount. The region is very grateful for Senator Romney’s effort to provide that funding through the infrastructure bill. Often projects in the region are funded by mineral lease revenues, which have decreased annually. The region’s needs can be addressed with this bill and provide enhanced sustainable funding options for diversifying our energy and tourism economies. Thank you for supporting rural Utah.” –Geri C. Gamber, Executive Director, SEUALG/SEUEDD

“We commend the United States Senate and Senator Romney for including in the infrastructure package vital funding for flood control, including repair and replacement of bridges damaged from flooding.  We also support funding for airport infrastructure.  Uintah County’s residents, like much of rural Utah, are in need of these infrastructure investments and we are hopeful that rural Utah is included in the disbursement of these funds.” –Uintah County Commission

“No bill is perfect, but we applaud Senator Mitt Romney for staying in the discussions and ensuring this bill doesn’t add to the deficit or inflation. Our nation cannot keep kicking this can down the road. Thank you, Senator!” –Professional Republican Women of Utah

“The Utah Lake Commission (Commission) wholeheartedly supports the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Commission was created with a primary goal of focusing efforts on enhancing Utah Lake to help it flourish as a natural resource and facilitate restoration work to the Lake and its shores. Investments in water infrastructure help the public and the State of Utah assure that one of the State’s largest natural treasures is restored, protected and enhanced. These critical investments will allow current and future generations to enjoy this incredible resource. As we have followed the work of Senator Romney and those members of the Senate involved in putting together this Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, it has been great to observe the focus given to water resilience and western water infrastructure. The Commission has partnered with the Utah Division of Water Quality on the Utah Lake Water Quality Study and work closely with the Utah Lake Restoration Project that was authorized by the Utah State Legislature and signed by Governor Herbert in 2017, all in an effort to reach similar water goals. Federal funding will play an important role in restoring the lake and we are grateful for Senator Romney’s leadership on this vital issue. Thank you very much for your leadership and support.” –Eric J. Ellis, Executive Director, Utah Lake Commission

“America’s productivity, global competitiveness, and quality of life depend on Congress making a durable commitment and clear strategy that will invest in and modernize our crumbling roads, bridges, transit, rail, water and energy infrastructure, broadband access, and more. We applaud Utah’s Senator Romney and the bipartisan Senate group, who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve agreement on this much-needed infrastructure proposal.” –Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce

Updated to include additional statements on August 13, 2021.