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RELEASE: Baker Bill to Expand Broadband Accessibility Passes First Committee

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rep Dave Baker and local resident, Jason Romain, are pictured at Thursday's committee hearing

ST. PAUL, MN—A bill chief authored by Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, to expand broadband in Greater Minnesota passed its first committee hurdle Wednesday in the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy.

Baker's bill, HF 2381, includes a $35,000,000 appropriation to the state’s border-to-border broadband program. The bill also includes reforms to make the broadband grant process more transparent.

"Expanding broadband access to areas that need it most means more opportunities for families throughout Greater Minnesota and this bill is an important step in bringing internet access in Greater Minnesota into the 21st century," Baker said. "In addition to this investment, my bill provides increased transparency in the project selection process and flexibility in the types of broadband technology that can be funded under the grant program, further increasing opportunities for Kandiyohi County and folks across the state.”

The bill's next stop is the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee.