From the MN Broadband Coalition…
House Broadband Bill Moving, Senate GOP Releases Budget Targets
Saint Paul, Minn.—The House Industrial Education and Economic Development Committee will take up Rep. Rob Ecklund’s House File 14 tomorrow morning during their March 17, 8:30am meeting. The bill contains $120 million for the broadband grant program over the next two years. We anticipate the bill will be moved to the Ways and Means Committee and eventually attached to the Agriculture Omnibus Finance Bill so that it can match up with the broadband funding provisions that will be in the Senate Agriculture Omnibus bill.
The Coalition will briefly testify at the hearing and you can tune in here:
Senate GOP Offers $40 Million for Broadband
The Senate GOP released their first budget targets for the upcoming biennial budget and included $40 million for broadband. We are glad the Senate GOP remains supportive of allocating additional resources for rural broadband expansion. However, we know that $120 million over the next two years is required to get us to our 2022 speed goals and more than that to get us to the 2026 speed goals. We will continue working with legislators to get the final figure as high as possible. The state currently has a $1.6 billion surplus over the next two years.