Today the Iowa House passed the Administration and Regulation budget bill containing $100 million for broadband internet expansion. The final vote was 55 to 37.
Increasing access to broadband internet, especially in rural parts of Iowa, has long been a top priority for Iowa Republicans. In her Condition of the State address Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds proposed $450 million for broadband access.
Speaker of the House Pat Grassley celebrated the bill.
“With this significant investment into broadband, Iowa House Republicans are delivering on another campaign promise made to constituents,” said Grassley. “This pandemic has accentuated the need to connect every Iowan to broadband to give them the ability to work from home, access telehealth services, use precision ag technology, and more.”
Representative John Landon served as the floor manager for the bill; after the vote, he explained the bill was important to meeting the needs of Iowa today and tomorrow.
“This budget meets the needs to ensure a state government that works for the people of Iowa,” said Landon. “It also addresses additional needs of Iowans, particularly in the area of broadband. With $100 million allocated for broadband, we can work to bring connectivity to Iowa’s broadband deserts, and increase speeds across the state.”
The legislation now moves to the Senate where it is expected to pass.