Governor Tim Walz wants 30 million dollars from the budget surplus to further expand broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota, over and above the 40 million dollars that lawmakers approved last year. The governor says, “That would hit what the requests were that came in on the shortfall that we had, and that’s probably about right, because this has been really well thought out. The Rural Broadband [Task Force] folks have done a really nice job on the economics of it, of what it takes to do it. So I think that’s probably about right.”
Republican leaders weren’t immediately available for comment. They said earlier their goal is to give back to taxpayers as much of the surplus as possible.
State officials on Tuesday announced over 23 million dollars is being awarded to 30 projects across Minnesota in the current round of funding to expand broadband Internet access, with about 20 million dollars additional scheduled for next year. A list of projects is in an earlier story.