From: Gary Evans, president, Greater Minnesota Partnership
Gov. Dayton recently stated that the broadband proposal in front of the legislature for a $100 million broadband infrastructure fund was not specific enough and action on broadband should wait until the 2015 Legislative Session.
Contrary to the Governor’s assertions, the legislation is clear and definitive. It requires the money be used in unserved and underserved areas of the state that fail to meet specified broadband speeds. The legislation also establishes specific criteria for the State Office of Broadband to use in a competitive grant process to fund projects for optimal public benefit.
All too often, the answer to Greater Minnesota’s problems is “let’s study, talk and wait” while Greater Minnesota falls further behind. If the governor disagrees with his own task force and doesn’t like the legislation, the answer isn’t to keep waiting. Instead, the Governor should propose an alternative, roll up his sleeves and work with us to get something done this session. It is unacceptable that the economic future of Greater Minnesota continue to be put on hold.
The $100 million broadband infrastructure fund needs to be created now. The state may never again have a governor with the vision and resources to get it done. We call on the public to join with us in asking Governor Dayton to lead on this issue.