Representatives from both sides of the aisle questioned the combining of omnibus bills in the House Ways and Means Committee, but the process continued and the three bills became one Tuesday.
HF14, as amended, the broadband supplemental finance bill, and HF4376, the housing supplemental finance and policy bill, were added to HF4366, as amended, the agriculture supplemental finance and policy bill before the latter was approved on a 16-9 party-line vote and sent to the House Floor.
Combining the bills was done to bring the total package more in line with SF4019 that also contains a package of agriculture, housing and broadband provisions. Sponsored by Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), it awaits action on the Senate Floor.
More importantly or pointed for broadband watchers – the amended request for funds (HF14) is much lower than had been expected…
Sponsored by Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls), HF14, would appropriate $25 million to the Office of Broadband Development for the Border-to-Border Broadband program. An approved amendment from Rep. Gene Pelowski, Jr. (DFL-Winona) lowered the one-time appropriation from $100 million.
You can see the very brief discussion below:
It is now a one-time appropriation of $25 million – to meet the budget resolution made available yesterday. There is a recommendation that the community match be lowered to 25 percent match required.