Open Back Better Act helps public facilities prepare

WASHINGTON — As the country continues to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Rep.Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., introduced legislation to make public facilities both more energy efficient and better prepared for future public health emergencies. The Open Back Better Act would provide stimulus funding for energy efficiency and resiliency retrofit projects in schools, medical facilities, government buildings, education institutions, libraries, and more.
Rep. Blunt Rochester and Sen. Smith said their legislation promotes environmental justice by prioritizing low-income, COVID-19 impacted communities. Funded energy efficiency and resiliency retrofits could include project components designed to improve safety and indoor air quality. This is particularly important for facilities re-opening before there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

The Open Back Better Act of 2020 would provide stimulus funding to states, federal buildings and Tribes to: Upgrade public buildings, making them safe to re-open via improvements such as to reduce threats from COVID 19 and improve indoor air quality.