The Minnesota Senate unanimously passed a bill yesterday that would provide $20 million in grants for broadband expansion. State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake authored the bill and he broke down the bill’s components on this past weekend’s KMRS Legislator’s Corner program.
“That’s $8 million for schools. It’s $2 million for more telehealth grants to county public health agencies and the need for more telehealth in rural Minnesota,” said Westrom. “And lastly, $10 million more for unserved rural broadband areas to help fill in the gaps where students and families live that don’t have internet access for their education needs or their telecommuting and work needs.”
The school component, Westrom explained, is to help districts come up with temporary ways to get internet to students or schools that haven’t had the services before, such as putting up more hot spots.