Broadband topic of political discussion in Granite Falls with Rep Swedzinski and Sen Dahms

The Advocate Tribune reports…

With state legislative elections on the horizon, State Representative Chris Swedzinski (R) and State Senator Gary Dahms (R) held a town hall meeting on Monday, January 29 at the Granite Falls City Hall. Roughly a dozen residents in all attended the hour long meeting. Topics of conversation included infrastructure, housing, childcare, broadband, and buffer strip regulations.

They talked about government help for infrastructure…

Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski asked about grant programs to help municipal governments with the steep financial burden of infrastructure expenses. Both legislators lauded the financial assistance provided by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA). Dahms said that overregulation by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency made infrastructure projects more expensive and difficult to execute. Swedzinski agreed, and argued that projects should be non-partisan, joking, “you can be a constitutional libertarian or liberal, but when you flush the toilet, you want it to go away.”

And gave some details on the topic of broadband…

Another big ticket item that came up during the town hall meeting was the issue of rural broadband connection. Yellow Medicine County Administrator Peg Heglund, who has been an advocate for broadband at the county level, asked if local governments can expect more financial support from the state. Swedzinski began by stressing that Minnesota was already a regional leader in rural broadband investment, and said that future investments should strategically focus on extending service to rural residents who currently don’t have any internet connection. Dahms agreed, adding, “This needs to be treated like any other piece of infrastructure. We maybe should have done rural broadband like we did rural electric.”

This entry was posted in 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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