Ohio’s 15th Congressional District is made of diverse communities, but they are united by a need for infrastructure investments. We can and must create good-paying jobs by making infrastructure investments in transportation, utilities, and affordable housing, especially in our rural and urban communities. These are high-paying, often union jobs that can support a family, while also making it easier for everybody to get to work and businesses to move goods.
Funding rural bridges, roads, and inland waterways will assist with the competitiveness of Ohio manufacturing and agriculture. It is long past time for Congress and state legislatures to invest in these crucial initial links in the supply chain that allow Ohio businesses and farmers to sell their products and crops across the country. Transportation infrastructure improvements to highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors, and port facilities are some of the most obvious needs in our communities, but they aren’t the only ones. Critical needs exist in providing clean water for Ohio families and farms, affordable housing options for rural and urban residents, updating Ag research facilities so the rural economy can stay competitive, and enhancing the ability to supply affordable, reliable, and secure power for all communities and businesses.
We also need large-scale investment in broadband infrastructure. One in 7 people in the 15th Congressional District lacks access to affordable and reliable internet at home, which is increasingly critical for obtaining education, employment, healthcare, and benefits. In the Ohio General Assembly, I sponsored and voted to create the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program, which will make $250 million available for broadband internet expansion projects in Ohio communities over the next three years. But, state dollars are not enough to meet the broadband needs of all Ohio communities. In Congress, I will also support additional federal dollars to fund more broadband expansion projects and incentives that create increased internet provider competition and public-private partnerships to ensure every Ohioan has access to quality internet service they can actually afford.