Remember MN Broadband Day on the Hill April 3

From the Minnesota Broadband Coalition…

Join Us for the Third Annual Broadband Day on the Hill!

Your participation is vital.  This is your chance to meet directly with legislators, share your stories about the importance of broadband to economic vitality and quality of life – especially in rural areas – and address the need for broadband investments.

We are planning a full day of activities to ensure that you will feel confident and well prepared to meet your representatives, satisfied that your time and energy were well spent, more connected with fellow advocates, and inspired to keep working.

Interested?
Click here to register.  The fee is $25 per person.

Where?
Minnesota State Capitol – L’Etoile du Nord Vault
(Room B15 – in the basement)

When?
April 3, 2019 (8:30 a.m. Start – Full agenda for the day will be available soon!)

Lodging

We have reserved a block of 25 rooms for the night of April 2, 2019, at the discounted government rate.  RESERVE YOUR ROOM BY FRIDAY, MARCH 15, to receive the group rate.

To book your room call: 651-227-8711

Best Western Capitol Ridge (formerly the Kelly Inn)
161 St. Anthony Ave
St. Paul, MN 55103

Group Code: MNAPR2

How to Schedule Your Meetings With Legislators
Use the following link to access our easy guide on How to Schedule Your Meetings With Legislators.
If you have any questions, concerns, or need help scheduling your legislator meetings, please contact Nathan Zacharias.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are scheduling your own meetings, make sure to do so at the time you register for the Day on the Hill. Legislators’ schedules fill up quickly. If you don’t schedule far enough in advance, it will be difficult to get a meeting.

Questions regarding the Broadband Day at the Capitol should be directed to: Emily Murray
Questions regarding scheduling meetings with legislators should be directed to: Nathan Zacharias

HF7 Broadband funding passes to Ways & Means with an extra $15 million

Today the Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division sent HF7, the bill for broadband funding, to Ways and Means. The bill for ongoing annual $35 million for broadband grants was introduced by Rep Ecklund and in committee Rep Layman added a one-time addition of $15 million for grants.

You can watch the sessions below

Or read my notes. Continue reading

US Senate hearing on rural broadband on Tuesday

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will have a hearing on broadband on March 12…

216 Hart Senate Office Building

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The hearing will focus on the Federal Communications Commission’s order to improve the quality and expand availability of rural broadband. The subcommittee will also discuss opportunities and investments to support carriers in rural America, efforts to prevent overbuilding among federal broadband programs, and the next steps to close the digital divide.

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations, Midcontinent Communications
  • Dr. Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Denny Law, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Golden West Telecommunications
  • Ms. Carol Mattey, Principal, Mattey Consulting, LLC

*Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet

This hearing will take place in the Hart Senate Office Building 216. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Senate Committee to hear about Telecommuter Forward! certification establishment Mar 13

I am going to try to make this meeting, if I do I will livestream it. It’s great to see broadband get used…

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – 1:00 PM

Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
1 p.m.
Room 1150 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Testimony on SF 1816 will be limited to 30 minutes.

If you are interested in testifying on SF 1816, please contact Andy Eilers at andrew.eilers@senate.mn

Agenda:
S.F. 2094-Mathews: Telecommuter Forward! certification establishment.

S.F. 1816-Pratt: Wage theft provisions modification and appropriation; written demand for payment to employer requirement.

MN House will meet about broadband on March 11

I plan to attend, take notes and livestream…

Monday, March 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM

Chair: Rep. Gene Pelowski
Location: 10 State Office Building
Agenda: 

HF7 (Ecklund) Broadband Grant Program Money Appropriated.

Bills:

  • HF7 (Ecklund) – Broadband grant program money appropriated.

MN Senate Committee Meeting on Broadband Feb 27

I plan to attend, to livestream and take notes…

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 – 3:00 PM

Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance
Chair: Sen. Torrey N. Westrom
3 p.m.
Room 1150 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
If you wish to testify on behalf of any bill, please contact the committee administrator at kyle.berndt@senate.mn or 651-296-5968. Testimony may be limited due to time constraints. Additional items may be added to the agenda.
Agenda:
Call to Order
Office of Broadband Governor Budget Overview
S.F. 9-Koran: Broadband grant program appropriation.
S.F. 1231-Draheim: Broadband grant program appropriation.
S.F. 807-Ruud: Mountain Iron economic development authority fiber optic broadband network extension appropriation.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Governor Budget Overview
Adjournment

PCs for People distribute 53 computers in Rock County

Rock County Star Herald reports…

Rock County Library moved forward with its broadband education initiative by giving away computers.

Library director Calla Jarvie, along with members of the broadband education steering committee, unloaded 53 personal computers.

Distribution took place Tuesday, Jan 15, at the law enforcement center with extras being delivered to the library on Main Street Luverne where they are being stored.

Twenty-five families in the Luverne and Hills-Beaver Creek school districts received personal computer for home use.

“Nowadays so many things you have to do, you have to do online,” she said. …

The computer deliver from LCs for People was the first major event completed with the $75,000 grant.

Fun to hear about programs that puts computers in the hands that need them. Blandin Foundation is the source of the grant.