Louisianans should support the work of U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Let’s put aside partisan differences and support this much-needed investment in roads, bridges, public transit, clean drinking water, broadband, coastal restoration and the integrity of our electrical grid.

This bill does not raise new taxes and is not the $3.5 trillion Democratic budget proposal currently moving through the congressional reconciliation process. Regardless of your position on that bill, it's important to understand that the physical infrastructure investments contained in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are crucial to Louisiana’s future.

America is in dire need of investment. Much of our nation’s infrastructure is aging and in need of an update. However, there is nowhere that this investment is more needed than in Louisiana.

Here in Louisiana, our roads and bridges are ranked 48th in the country. Our coastline is rapidly disappearing, leaving us not only with growing exposure to storms such as hurricanes Ida and Laura, but also knowing that many of our residents will eventually have to uproot and move to higher ground.

Many of our rural areas suffer from a lack of good quality drinking water. Most of the same areas, plus many others that you might not expect, lack sufficient access to broadband to successfully continue school and working from home in a pandemic.

Our electrical grid, largely strung on aging poles and towers, is exposed to the elements and literally disabled by hurricanes every year. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides much-needed funding for all of these priorities.

Congress is voting on this important piece soon. Reach out to your congressional representatives and tell him/her to support the nonpartisan bill. Louisiana’s future depends on it.

JULIE STOKES

Ellevate Louisiana

Kenner