Legislative leaders announced a new budget agreement between the two houses on Tuesday. As the news came out, the Senate Budget Committee bumped its hearing to today.
Among the many items on the agenda is a proposal from the governor for $7 billion to spend over two years on broadband connectivity. The funding comes from a mix of American Rescue Plan dollars and the state taxpayer fund.
The proposal is still an early concept. Budget committees are likely to approve placeholder language and return to the issue later this summer, after the state budget has been passed.
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This raised concerns for Joy Sterling, who serves on the State Board of Food and Ag.
“I'm very, very concerned that delays are already happening,” said Sterling, during a board hearing on Tuesday. “I find that slow-walking is generally a tactic for pushing things off, so that they just don't happen or giving the providers the leeway to derail the proposal.”