Broadband one of many options for budget surplus

CBS Minnesota recently ran an article on all of the budget requests coming in based on the budget surplus. I think it’s interesting to take a look at all of the recommendations/requests…

Legislative leaders left themselves a hefty sum after they put together a two-year budget last year that made 2016 the year to tackle tax relief and road and bridge repairs. But other lawmakers have already laid out plans to spend at least half of the $1.2 billion surplus — before tax cuts and transportation fixes have been hashed out.

There are bills to boost funding for Reading Corps by more than $5 million; $1 million to prevent tractor rollovers; and another $15 million to expand Head Start school programs. There are countless more without firm price tags. And Gov. Mark Dayton himself has requested $100 million for broadband Internet development and another $6 million to offer state employees paid parental leave. …

Whatever the final size, there’s no shortage of ideas on how to spend the extra cash. The proposals queued up for March 8 span from small expenses, like $20,000 to establish a new trail system in northeastern Minnesota in honor of a lawmaker who died last summer, to far larger plans like more than $125 million suggested by minority House Democrats to boost aid to local governments and provide tax credits to build housing in rural Minnesota.

However, broadband is noted as a spending area that both Democrats and Republicans support…

There are some areas of agreement. Democrats and Republicans are rallying behind boosting broadband Internet grants, though GOP lawmakers have suggested a smaller investment than the $100 million outlined by Dayton and House Democrats.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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