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KCBX News Update: Infrastructure bill passes House of Representatives, redistricting commission nears key deadline

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Central Coast Congressman Salud Carbajal voted in favor of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes House of Representatives

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature.

It’s a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill with investments in the country’s roads, bridges, airways and other infrastructure projects including clean energy and internet connectivity projects.

Central Coast Congressman Salud Carbajal, who voted in favor of the bill, said in a video Friday that the infrastructure bill will benefit the Central Coast specifically.

“It will repair our roads and bridges. It will improve public transit. And it will make significant and historic investments in our broadband and internet connectivity as well as our clean water infrastructure," Carbajal said.

The bill is being touted as bipartisan, although it passed in the House with 228 yes votes and 206 no votes.

215 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted in favor of the bill and six Democrats and 200 Republicans voted against it.

Redistricting commission nears key deadline

California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission is nearing a key deadline, the release of preliminary draft maps, expected later this week. As a result of the 2020 Census, the state is losing one of its congressional districts — a first in California history.

Paul Mitchell heads up the company Redistricting Partners.

Mitchell said the commission's challenges are ultimately to create balanced and equitable districts, so voting power in communities of color isn’t diluted. At the same time, Mitchell said, he thinks these issues are in the right hands.

"It is being done in an open, public transparent process and the people doing it, both on the staff and the commission, should be celebrated for their work, but we still also need to make sure they are listening to the community voices and that people are showing up," Mitchell said.

After this week’s release of preliminary maps, more public input will be taken. Then another set of draft maps will be released next month, to be certified by the Secretary of State no later than December 27th.

This story came to us from CapRadio News.

Benjamin Purper came to KCBX in May of 2021 from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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