State Rep. Michele Hoitenga’s plan to improve rural broadband access across Michigan was signed into law today.
The change comes in tandem with the recently signed state budget, which includes $14.3 million for rural broadband infrastructure.
“Michigan’s rural population needs access to reliable internet now more than ever in the wake of the public health crisis,” Hoitenga said. “Home internet allows Michigan’s rural residents to access telemedicine, work remotely, and participate in virtual learning.”
Hoitenga’s plan, House Bill 4288, allows the Department of Technology Management and Budget (DTMB) to implement a statewide broadband program called the Broadband Expansion Act of Michigan (BEAM) and outlines requirements for applications and awarding grants.
Hoitenga said that without guidance written into state law, the process for future grant funding for broadband infrastructure could be subject to administrative and bureaucratic preferences.
“By ensuring public dollars for broadband expansion are used efficiently and effectively, we can bring reliable service to the parts of Michigan that have been unserved for decades,” said Hoitenga, of Manton.
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, today responded to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent order to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline by May 2021 – which carries 23 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas liquids daily that Michigan families and business owners rely on.
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga this week introduced a plan to ensure that rural parts of the state are no longer lumped in with heavily populated areas when responding to states of emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.