We want to offer a big congratulations to Senator Matt Schmit, who has recently been recognized as a “Legislator of Distinction” by the League of Minnesota Cities for his work promoting the expansion of broadband Internet connectivity to rural areas that lack access and, specifically, for introducing legislation that created a fund to promote investment in new broadband infrastructure throughout the state. Senator Schmit was one of 12 senators to receive the award.
I have had the pleasure of working with Senator Schmit closely since he joined the Blandin’s Broadband Strategy Board more than a year ago. He came to us like a house on fire to get something done. “We’re tired of talk; it’s time for action,” he’s fond of saying. And act he did. He worked tirelessly on the legislation to promote the broadband development fund.
In the dead of winter last year, he toured the state to talk to communities about their need and used the stories to help create a solution, in the form of the broadband bill. We also worked closely with the Senator on the February Broadband Conference. He did a great job encouraging his colleagues to join us and helping them understand the importance of investing in broadband.
His determination continues. Just this summer he toured Minnesota communities to give them a heads up on the broadband fund. And I suspect when the time comes, he will be helping to gather the resulting stories of broadband expansion in the state and bring them back to his fellow legislators to consider future investment.