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Rep. Demings says billions of federal dollars are on the way to improve Central Florida infrastructure

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Democratic US Rep. Val Demings says the more than $550 billion dollar Bipartisan Infrastructure Jobs and Investment Act will help to update Central Florida’s public transportation, water infrastructure and internet access. The legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden last week. 

Central Florida stands to receive tens of billions of dollars in money to expand Lynx routes, put in electric charging stations for greener vehicles, and improve SunRail and Amtrak. 

Congresswoman Val Demings says an additional $100 million will go toward improving broadband access for some 707,000 families in the region.

Demings says local public and private school students struggled to pivot to online learning without reliable Wi-Fi connections at home during the pandemic. 

“If one thing COVID did other than break our hearts, it also showed us the vulnerability in some homes that don’t have access to the internet. When we went to distance learning.”

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Her husband, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says even with this federal support, a transportation sales tax initiative is needed to continue to improve local infrastructure. 

“At the beginning of the year, January, we will re-engage with our community to re-inform them about the potential for a transportation infrastructure sales tax that we would advance to the ballot if the board of county commission approves in November of 2022.”

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Demings first introduced a penny sales tax initiative in 2019, before the pandemic and the resulting recession forced him and other local leaders to change their course. 


Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.