At the start of the week and just over one year after Joe Biden was elected President of the United States, Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This massive investment in America is bound to be one of Biden’s signature pieces of legislation.

The overlap of these two events was a potent reminder that the American people elected Biden for moments just like this.

Despite the challenges set against him, Biden managed to unite Democrats and Republicans to pass a massive investment in American roads, bridges, and broadband. That infrastructure deal will boost the American economy, create millions of good-paying jobs all across the country and help businesses everywhere succeed by upgrading the physical and technological infrastructure they rely on every day.

Here in Minnesota, people across the state are counting on our leaders to deliver those infrastructure investments. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Minnesota’s infrastructure a C grade on their latest state report card. It is hard to build and maintain a strong economy when the links that connect our communities are in disrepair. Luckily, Biden’s infrastructure deal will supply Minnesota with $4.5 billion to repair roads and highways across the state and another $302 million to repair our bridges.

Any business-owner will likely tell you that a fast, stable and reliable internet connection is every bit as important as good roads and bridges. These days, our students also rely more and more on the incredible educational resources available online and lacking access to these resources puts them at a tremendous disadvantage.

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Under Biden’s infrastructure plan, Minnesota will receive $100 million to upgrade broadband coverage throughout the state. This will be especially helpful for communities across greater Minnesota, which have struggled with internet connectivity for far too long.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Biden’s infrastructure plan makes a tremendous, $15 billion investment in cleaning up America’s drinking water infrastructure. This is vital for America’s children, as drinking even a small amount of lead-contaminated water can lead to serious developmental problems in our youth, ranging from lower IQs to hyperactivity to slowed growth and so much more.

In this era of increasing political division, it is a genuine triumph that 19 Republican Senators joined with Democrats to pass Biden’s infrastructure bill. During the 2020 elections, political pundits heaped scorn on Joe Biden when he promised to bring Americans together to tackle our shared challenges. Now, one year later, President Biden delivered the infrastructure deal with the support of over two-thirds of the United States Senate.

At one point during his campaign, Biden barnstormed across Iowa in a bus with the words “No Malarkey” printed across it. This wasn’t just a campaign slogan, it was a pledge to run a calm, rational and competent administration to a nation exhausted by four years of Donald Trump’s malarky-filled presidency.

Biden is making good on that pledge by focusing his time and energy on meeting the needs of the American people. His infrastructure bill proves it and I look forward to a day in the near future when its benefits begin to be felt across our state and across our country.

Ken Martin is the chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.