Here’s the latest from the MN Broadband Coalition…
Save the Date!
MRBC Full Coalition Meeting
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | 3:00 -4:30 p.m.
League of Minnesota Cities
145 University Ave West, St Paul, MN 55103
House Broadband Funding Bill Introduced
Members of the House of Representatives introduced dozens of pre-session bills on Friday, January 31. These bills contain some of the highest priority issues for House members and additional funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program was included in those introductions. Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls) introduced HF 3029, a bill that would fund an additional $30 million to the grant program this year and continue funding for the program at that level each year. Rep. Ecklund was joined by the following members in signing the bill:
- Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset)
- Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing)
- Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL-Aurora)
- Rep. Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin)
- Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter)
- Rep. John Poston (R-Lake Shore)
- Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake)
- Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji)
Many legislators are working their full-time jobs or are traveling with family in the weeks before the legislative session begins, so it is likely we will see more legislators sign the bill when session begins. Support for the broadband grant program remains high among legislators of both parties thanks to your advocacy and the efficacy of the program. The next step for the bill is to have a hearing in the House Greater MN Jobs and Economic Development Committee once session begins.
Sen. Susan Kent is new Senate DFL Minority Leader
Some of you no doubt read the news that Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) prevailed as the new leader of the Senate DFL in a vote held Saturday, February 1 at the Carpenters Union Hall in St. Paul. She takes over from Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), who has run the Senate DFL for nearly a decade. Neither Sen. Kent nor Sen. Bakk took questions from members of the press following the vote. The legislative session begins on February 11.