GMNP responds to Gov. Dayton’s statement that rural broadband will be a spending priority

Following yesterday’s announcement from Minnesota Management and Budget that the state has a $1B budget surplus for the next biennium, Gov. Dayton held a press availability in which he stated that rural broadband will be among his top spending priorities.

In response to the Governor’s comments, Greater Minnesota Partnership Executive Director Dan Dorman released this statement to the media today:

Statement from Dan Dorman, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, regarding Gov. Dayton’s statement that rural broadband will be a spending priority given the budget surplus

“Over the past year, our organization has worked tirelessly with communities and businesses across the state to highlight the need for high-quality broadband in Greater Minnesota and garner support from policymakers on this critical issue.

“With the news of the state budget surplus, Gov. Dayton’s announcement yesterday that broadband infrastructure will be a spending priority during the 2015 session is a historic breakthrough for thousands of businesses and families across Minnesota who have been limited for years by poor Internet connectivity or, in some cases, no connectivity at all. 

“Whether it is the rural high school kid who has to drive to another town to find reliable Internet access to do his homework, or the business owner unable to upload a simple document, or the senior citizen trying to fulfill a drug prescription online — people across Greater Minnesota have reason to celebrate this news.

“Our organization would like to thank Governor Dayton for his support and for recognizing that broadband access is crucial to the growth and vitality of Greater Minnesota. We would also like to thank the Greater Minnesota mayors, educators, business owners and numerous newspapers that helped bring attention to this issue. Their support has been extremely important to building momentum behind our efforts to bring high-quality broadband to every corner of the state.

“Though we are buoyed by Gov. Dayton’s statement that rural broadband will be one of his top priorities, we know that our work is just beginning. It is essential that the new House Republican majority, who won control of the Minnesota House campaigning on support for Greater Minnesota, and the state Senate join the Governor to make broadband infrastructure improvements a reality.”     

For a PDF version of Dorman’s statement, click here.