A new report calls attention to the crumbling infrastructure across the country. The report says that though states are recovering from the Great Recession and revenues are exceeding pre-recession levels, states are still not making sufficient investments in crucial infrastructure like education, health care, roads and bridges, and many other areas. The report, titled “It’s time for States to Invest in Infrastructure” was released last week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The report highlights the importance of public investment in infrastructure, as inequities continue to exist in the quality of school buildings, public parks, water pipes and other public goods in poorer areas across the country. Everyone deserves clean water to drink, and good public schools where they can create a better future for themselves. Improving infrastructure can also make states more attractive to entrepreneurs who are likely to be the drivers of job growth, as we discussed in our Florida jobs report.
Florida will be one of the hardest hit states as climate change causes rising sea levels and more severe and unpredictable weather events. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ state Infrastructure report card for Florida makes it clear that we are not adequately prepared for such events or their long term consequences.
Florida’s infrastructure falls in line with the rest of the country. Florida ranks 23rd in infrastructure spending as a proportion of state GDP. While we are doing fairly well at maintaining roads and bridges, our schools, wastewater treatment, public parks, and water supply are just some of the areas where we need to invest significantly more simply to meet adequate standards.
Florida’s investment in infrastructure has been shrinking, when measured as a percentage of state GDP. In fact, Florida has the second largest drop in spending across all fifty states (see our infrastructure fact sheet for more information).