Idaho Senate Unanimously Passes $3.6M Emergency Broadband Bill

Feb 23, 2015

A proposal that would approve $3.6 million in emergency funding for Idaho's faltering broadband program is headed to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's desk for his signature.

The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1JDJkrh) reports that the Idaho Senate unanimously voted Monday to approve the stopgap proposal. The legislation would require school districts to negotiate their own broadband contracts for the rest of this school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra would distribute the money to school districts to reimburse them for their individual makeshift contracts.

The bill comes after a district judge voided Idaho's $60 million broadband contract. This means that broadband access could soon be cut off to nearly 200 public high schools across the state.

The state's broadband program helps facilitate students who take dual-credit classes with video teleconference equipment.