It’s budget week in virtual Olympia, and rural Washingtonians have something to look forward to. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more on the more than $100 million to increase rural broadband access included in the budget.
Representative Steve Tharinger chairs the House Capital Budget Committee, and the five point seven billion dollar spending plan he proposed this week includes a big boost from President Biden’s American Recovery Act. That influx of federal dollars is going to jump start the state’s efforts to bring broadband connectivity to homes, businesses, and schools in every part of rural Washington. Here’s Tharinger:
THARINGER: “This is a historic capital budget for the state. We’ve gotten considerable dollars from the federal government so that’s been incredibly helpful. That money should get out into the rural areas, which should be really helpful. The virus has highlighted the need for broadband, for education and healthcare and economic activity. So that’s pretty exciting.”
Tharinger, a Democrat from Port Townsend on the Olympic peninsula, said that in addition to a record investment in rural broadband, the capital budget he released spends millions on water projects, affordable housing, school construction, and salmon recovery throughout the state. The budget has a public hearing Monday morning in Olympia. At the state Capitol, Dan Frizzell.