White House asks governors to name infrastructure coordinators

White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu is asking states to tap their own high-level coordinators to help implement the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law. 

Landrieu wrote a letter to every governor on Tuesday requesting they name their own infrastructure implementation coordinators, following the model of the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, when a group of state representatives served as recovery coordinators.

“Given the success of this model and the highly integrated nature of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I humbly request that you consider appointing a high-level person to serve as your state’s own Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator,” Landrieu wrote in the three-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.

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“This individual would work with your budget team and across departments responsible for transportation, water, broadband, and energy investments to coordinate implementation of the various infrastructure programs, perhaps using a structure similar to the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force created by the President,” Landrieu continued.

Two states have already taken steps to set up special committees to oversee the implementation of the infrastructure law, and Landrieu’s letter encourages others to follow suit.

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonGOP governors press Biden administration for control of infrastructure implementation Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises .8M since launch of Arkansas governor campaign Wisconsin GOP bill would count prior COVID-19 infection as immunity MORE (R) has established an infrastructure planning advisory committee and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamLegislatures move to limit governor powers after pandemic WATCH: Weekend stories you might have missed New Mexico governor becomes substitute teacher amid school staffing shortage MORE (D) has named three advisers to oversee infrastructure, water and broadband investments.

Landrieu wrote that the Biden administration would look to the network of coordinators for ongoing feedback as the law’s programs are rolled out, should other governors take him up on his request. 

“We know that needs, capacity, and challenges can vary widely by locality. We need to make sure our programs reflect these realities across your state and our country, and having a senior, single point of contact in your office will help ensure that issues get elevated appropriately and rapidly,” he wrote. 

The Biden administration immediately took steps to lay the groundwork for implementing the sweeping law once it passed the House in November. The work cuts across several agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Commerce and Energy, and the investments are supposed to be made over about five years. 

In addition to Biden naming Landrieu as the White House infrastructure coordinator, each relevant Cabinet agency will have its own coordinator to spearhead programs funded by the law that fall under its purview.