Omnibus budget that include $15 million for broadband (SF1937) passes out of committee

MRP News reports …

Republican legislative leaders Tuesday threatened to push ahead with passing their budget bills despite likely vetoes from DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, ratcheting up the pressure at the Capitol with only two weeks left in the session.

I got to see a little bit of the rush to pass budgets at the Conference Committee on SF1937 this morning. The meeting was called last night at 9:30, then time changed at 10:30. Meeting was scheduled for 9:30 this morning but probably started around 10:00.

You can watch the meeting below. Staff announced changes. Policymakers commented, which included some agreements and some disagreements. Then they voted (not unanimously) to pass the bill. Some voiced concern that the bill would get vetoed – and they’d be back to discuss issues again/further at a later date.

I won’t try to capture the whole conversation, only anything remotely related to broadband:

Rep Mahoney outlined a number of his concerns, including recognizing that satellite broadband is not sufficient for rural areas because many employers and potential economic development partners will not work with someone using a satellite connection because of security concerns. He also noted that $15 million for broadband grants is not enough because it doesn’t help rural economies grow into the future.

Senator Champion was concerned that there were no provisions on Internet privacy. (Someone else countered that actually Minnesota is one of two states that has an Internet Policy on the books.)

Senator Miller noted that there’s $15 million for border to border broadband, which rural areas need.

Here are documents from the meeting:

 

This entry was posted in Conferences, Funding, MN, Policy 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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