May 13, 2013

Representative John Nygren, Co-Chair
Joint Committee on Finance
309 East, State Capitol
Senator Alberta Darling, Co-Chair
Joint Committee on Finance
317 East, State Capitol

Dear Co-Chairs Nygren and Darling,
We respectfully request that the Joint Finance Committee revisit the Governor’s budget proposal regarding broadband expansion. It is our understanding that through reestimates to the Universal Service Fund that the amount was decreased from $4.7 million to $500,000. Our rural areas are either unserved or underserved in providing broadband services; we do not believe we can serve all of our areas that will be requesting grants with $500,000.
This puts rural communities at a disadvantage with respect to economic growth, job creation, educational opportunities, healthcare information, commerce and much more.
We are aware that this item is up for a vote on Monday and would urge you to please consider funding of a broadband expansion grant program of at least $3 million in the next biennium.
We appreciate you time and attention in this matter. If we can be of any assistance or if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call our offices. Thank you in advance for your work on this important issue and for your service on the Joint Finance Committee.

Rep. Travis Tranel
Rep. Lee Nerison
Rep. Scott Suder
Rep. Rob Swearingen
Rep. Warren Petryk
Rep. Scott Krug
Rep. Jeffrey Mursau
Rep. Mary Williams
Rep. Ed Brooks
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck
Rep. Kathy Bernier
Rep. Mary Czaja
Rep. John Murtha
Rep. Garey Bies
Rep. Gary Tauchen