Our nation has been deeply challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turmoil that followed. As the federal government continues to respond, investing in rebuilding plans that put our country on the road to recovery will allow us to come back stronger than ever.
Rebuilding means investing in traditional infrastructure, like roads and bridges. But it’s so much more than that—it includes investing in our education, research and health care infrastructure.
Thank you to all of our advocates who reached out to their members of Congress to encourage that they support these types of infrastructure investments.
As Congress continues to consider different legislative vehicles, UC will continue to advocate for plans that invests in:
- Infrastructure: UC has a backlog of infrastructure needs that cannot be met without access to additional capital—such as from advanced refunding bonds—that will allow the University to build new classroom space, upgrade labs and ensure University research facilities can continue to deliver new theories, collaborations and discoveries. Additional funding is also needed to address broadband access, seismic safety, critical deferred maintenance and health center preparedness.
- Education: By doubling the maximum Pell Grant award to $13,000, Congress can make good on its commitment to provide low-income students the financial support they need to go to college. In 1980, the Pell Grant covered more than 75% of the cost to attend a 4-year public university, today it covers less than one-third.
- Research: Robust investments in federal research agencies will provide needed support for researchers across UC to continue to accelerate life-saving cures and advance emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and quantum. Additional research funding will help restore the pandemic-related disruptions to federally-funded research. Now is also the time to make investments in climate change research that can help accelerate our transition to sustainable energy infrastructure. The climate crisis is already devastating California with unprecedented droughts and prolonged fire seasons. New investments can position the U.S. as a global leader in clean energy technology, create jobs and help us meet the climate change challenge.
- Health Care: The COVID-19 pandemic showed the country that we must support our frontline workers and make significant investments in our nation’s health care enterprise. Creating 14,000 additional graduate medical education (GME) slots will help address the nation-wide shortage of physicians and improve health care delivery in California. Currently, UC trains nearly half of the medical students and residents in the state, but given the urgent need for more physicians, UC has been absorbing the cost of adding hundreds of additional medical residency slots each year. A comprehensive infrastructure bill should provide robust funding for programs such as Title VII - Health Professions Training and Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development that support UC’s efforts to address health disparities and provide care in medically underserved California communities.