EVENTS: SEPTEMBER 17 and 18: Klobuchar Staff to Hold Public Roundtable Discussions on Transportation, Infrastructure, Broadband, and Housing in MN

I hope/plan to attend and take notes:

Klobuchar’s staff will hold meetings with state and local officials and community organizations to discuss transportation, infrastructure, broadband, and housing needs

Members of the public are invited to join these discussions and share their communities’ project successes and priorities for future needs

MINNEAPOLIS – On Tuesday, September 17 and Wednesday, September 18, representatives from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office will meet with state and local officials and community organizations for a series of public roundtable discussions to highlight local and regional transportation, infrastructure, broadband, and housing successes, current projects, and future needs. Members of the public are invited to join these discussions and share their perspectives on the importance of investing in regional community development projects.

Klobuchar’s staff will host roundtable discussions in Mora, Brainerd, Aitkin, Wadena, Walker, and Bemidji. These events are free and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, September 17
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Kanabec County Jail100 South Vine
Mora, MN 55051

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Crow Wing County Government Center
326 Laurel Street
Brainerd, MN 56601

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Aitkin Public Library
110 1st Avenue NE
Aitkin, MN 56431

Wednesday, September 18

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Wadena County Government Center
415 Jefferson Street
Wadena, MN 56482

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Chase on the Lake
River’s Edge Conference Room
502 Cleveland Boulevard West
Walker, MN 56484

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
City of Bemidji
317 4th Street Northwest
Bemidji, MN 56601

As a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Klobuchar has consistently called for greater investments in broadband and transportation infrastructure, as well as housing developments. Klobuchar was one of the first Democratic Senators to support the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act – the first long-term transportation bill passed by Congress in over a decade. Signed into law in December 2015, the FAST Act directs more than $4 billion over five years in federal funding for Minnesota to invest in its roads, bridges and transit systems. Klobuchar also led legislation to ensure that states coordinate highway construction projects with broadband providers so that broadband infrastructure can be installed at the same time—known as “dig once.” This legislation passed as part of the government funding bill that was signed into law in March 2018.

As co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, Klobuchar has long championed closing the digital divide. In July, Klobuchar and Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Gary Peters (D-MI), and John Thune’s (R-SD) bipartisan legislation to improve the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) broadband coverage maps passed the Senate Commerce Committee. The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act would require the FCC to collect more granular data from fixed, wireless, and satellite broadband providers, strengthen the accuracy of data from mobile broadband providers, consider a process to ensure data is reliable, and create a process for state, local, and Tribal governments to challenge the FCC maps accuracy. In June, Klobuchar and Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) legislation to improve broadband connectivity passed the Senate. The Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Technology, to conduct a study of the effects of the digital economy and the adoption of broadband deployment on the U.S. economy. In May, Klobuchar and Wicker’s legislation to ensure federal funds for broadband deployment are targeting unserved and underserved areas, passed the Senate Commerce Committee. The Broadband Interagency Coordination Act would direct the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to coordinate and share information on their broadband deployment efforts. Klobuchar and Wicker also led the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, which was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The bipartisan legislation directs the FCC to establish a task force to identify gaps in broadband coverage and encourage broadband deployment on farms and ranchland.

Additionally, Klobuchar has supported various housing programs including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the Home Investment Partnerships Program (the HOME Program), the USDA Rural Housing Programs, and funds from the Community Development Block Grant. Most recently, the Klobuchar supported FY2018 and FY2019 appropriations acts included major increases in funding for affordable housing and community development programs at HUD along with a four-year expansion of the LIHTC. As the Senate considers government funding bills for FY2020, Klobuchar has again renewed her request for funding increases for the Family Self-Sufficiency program, the Project Based Section 8 program, the Community Development Block Grant program, the Home Investment Partnerships Program, and the National Housing Trust Fund.

 

This entry was posted in Conferences, 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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