Rural infrastructure projects would get 25 percent of the total amount of funding in President Trump’s infrastructure program, according to a document leaked this week to Axios, an online news company. The six-page summary was short on details, such as the amount of money Trump plans to propose for the entire initiative. (He has repeatedly said it would be a $1 trillion plan but has not made any formal announcement.) The rural infrastructure portion of the outline says that 80 percent of the funds would go to states and 20 percent for rural performance grants. The states would receive money using two ratios: one based on total rural road miles in the state in relation to total rural road miles in all states, and the other based on the total adjusted rural population of a state in relation to the total adjusted rural population of all states. Rural funding would be available for projects addressing roads, bridges, airports, waterways, power and electric, drinking water, and broadband, among other categories. States would have to develop rural infrastructure investment plans within 180 days of receiving funding, but it’s not clear whether that requirement would apply to all the rural funding available to states, or only to the grants portion. All of the rural funding made available “would be distributed as block grants without federal requirements, but must be used for projects in rural areas with a population of less than 50,000,” the outline says.
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