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Gov. Reynolds signs budget bill into law providing $100M to broadband grant program

The Republican governor pushed hard for broadband internet access during this legislative session.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A budget bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday will provide $100 million to Iowa's broadband grant program, which the governor has pushed for since the beginning of this legislative session

The money will come from the state's general fund and be sent to the Office of the Chief Information Officer for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. 

“This bill provides a historic $100 million investment in broadband that will transform our infrastructure into a powerful network, enabling fast, high-quality connectivity statewide and opening doors to new opportunities for communities large and small,” Reynolds said in a press release. “I want to thank the Legislature for their commitment to funding the broadband grant program and to the providers for their dedication to this initiative.”  

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Iowa's internet connections have gotten a big workout over the past year, from Zoom meetings to telemedicine appointments to completing work projects from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Reynolds signed a different law that will provide funding to help companies install broadband to high-need areas in the state. The law signed Monday will help with the funding. 

"Having those higher speeds are kind of the way it is today, and the pandemic has underscored the need for that sort of connectivity,” Bill Menner, Executive Director of Iowa Rural Development Council, said earlier this month.