Legislative updates around Wadena with political reps – broadband makes the list

The Wadena Pioneer Journal reports

The message from area political representatives was clear: the budget takes priority in this legislative session along with election integrity. Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), State House of Representatives District 9A Rep. John Poston (R-Lake Shore) and Eighth District Congressman Pete Stauber (R-Duluth) each shared the host of discussions to come from supporting small businesses to the need for rural broadband.

The impact of COVID and inherent need for broadband for members came up…

The Senate will operate in a hybrid model with smaller in-person meetings for committees and other representatives joining on Zoom. The House will operate remotely through Zoom, including a fingerprint reader on representatives’ mouse pads for electronic voting, as Poston said. The change replaces voice votes from the 200 representatives that were used in the special sessions in 2020.

And Rep Stauber specifically mentioned broadband…

Stauber also looks forward to possible investing in transportation planning, rural broadband and seeing emergency departments and hospitals prepared for serving the public while keeping them safe.

One of the issues Region Five Development Commission executive director Cheryal Lee Hills and Tri-County Health Care president and CEO Joel Beiswenger want to see addressed is rural broadband for participation in government and access to health care. Hills emphasized how the issue needs to be moved from the backburner and is no longer a luxury. Poston said rural legislators understand the need and battle with metro legislators.

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

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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