Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…
Minnesota could see billions of dollars from a massive bipartisan infrastructure package making its way through the U.S. Senate.
The lengthy 2,702-page infrastructure bill, led by a group of Republican and Democratic senators, became public Sunday night. While it remains unclear exactly how much money could make it to Minnesota if the bill becomes law, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith said it would “mean billions of dollars in resources to help repair Minnesota roads and bridges and airports and inland waterways,” along with a major investment in broadband.
More details on the broadband piece…
The breakdown released by the White House shows $65 billion is expected to go toward the area of broadband internet. Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a leading voice on broadband legislation and has vocally highlighted the needs in Minnesota.
“I think that it is an outstanding result for our state,” Klobuchar said when asked about the bipartisan legislation. “Our state is, because of the mix of rural, suburban, urban, we actually stand to gain big time on the broadband.”
Neither Smith nor Klobuchar were members of the bipartisan group that took the lead negotiating the bipartisan bill.
Minnesota, like other places in the United States, faces issues with broadband access that became more apparent during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the provisions stand in the bill today, this is going to do a whole heck of a lot to help Minnesota families and Minnesota businesses get connected in the way that they should be,” Nathan Zacharias, lobbyist for the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, said in an interview Monday.