Oklahoma lawmakers hope $1.87 billion will be enough for fast internet

What would $1.87 billion buy you in Oklahoma? Some lawmakers hope it will be enough for a faster internet. One of the big projects to get the green light on Tuesday was as the state decided how to spend the federal COVID-19 relief money, and one of the things where the two sides came together was how the money would be spent. When the Senate and House of Representatives took control of the relief funds, the governor said he hoped lawmakers would not approve special interests and partial projects, and lawmakers’ message on Tuesday was that the projects they approve affect everyone. Impacting all over Oklahoma, rural Oklahoma, the Tulsa metro, the Oklahoma City metro, and really the whole state, which is why you see legislators from all walks of life, from all the political spectrum really vote unanimously on 44 of the 45 projects today, Rep. Kyle Hilbert said, ( Republican) Bristow. Hilbert is one of the lawmakers tasked with spearheading the effort to allocate funds awarded to Oklahoma as part of the US bailout bill. Projects recommended for approval by the entire legislature include more than half a billion dollars for broadband expansion and 400 million dollars invested in water. “You look at communities 80 years ago, some had electricity, some didn’t, really you had two different Americas in communities that had electricity and those that didn’t, and what we’re really seeing is that shift back in today where you have communities that have access to High-speed broadband and the ones you don’t have,” Hilbert said. The support seen on Tuesday for these projects can be seen next week when the full Legislative Council votes? Hilbert will not make any promises. “I think we’ll have a lot of discussion, as it should, as the legislative process goes on, and all members have a vote on these projects, and we’ll see how lawmakers will return to the Capitol starting next Wednesday for their own session, where a significant amount of funding will be approved,” Hilbert said. Organizations and agencies should have the funds on hand by February 3.

What would $1.87 billion buy in Oklahoma?

Some lawmakers hope that will be enough for a faster internet. It was one of the big projects to get the green light on Tuesday as the state decides how to spend federal COVID-19 relief money.

The only thing that both sides have come together is how the money is spent. When the Senate and House of Representatives took control of the relief funds, the governor said he hoped lawmakers would not approve of special interests and partial projects.

The message from lawmakers on Tuesday was that the projects they approve affect everyone.

“It’s been really targeted to affect all of Oklahoma, rural Oklahoma, the Tulsa metro, the Oklahoma City metro, really the entire state, and that’s why you see legislators from across the board, from all the political spectrum really voting unanimously on 44,” Rep. Kyle Hilbert (right) Bristow said. That’s 45 projects today.”

Hilbert is one of the lawmakers tasked with leading the effort to allocate the money Oklahoma gave as part of the US bailout bill. Projects recommended for approval by the entire legislature include more than half a billion dollars to expand broadband and invest $400 million in water.

“You look at communities from 80 years ago, some of them had electricity, some didn’t, and you really had two different American areas in communities that had electricity and those that didn’t and what we’re really seeing is this shift back today where they have communities that have access to high-speed broadband and those that don’t.”

However, will the support seen on Tuesday for these projects be seen next week when the full legislature votes? Hilbert will not make any promises.

“I think we’ll have a lot of discussion, as it should, as the legislative process goes on, all members have a vote on these projects, and we’ll see how they are received next week,” Hilbert said. .

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol starting next Wednesday for their special session, when a significant amount of the funding will be approved. Organizations and agencies should have the funds on hand by February 3.

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