Oklahoma lawmakers hope $1.87 billion is enough for fast internet

What would $1.87 billion buy you in Oklahoma? Some lawmakers hope it will be enough for faster internet. It was one of the major projects to get the green light on Tuesday as the state decides how to spend federal COVID-19 relief money. One thing the two sides came together on was how to spend money. When the Senate and the House took control of the relief money, the governor said he hoped lawmakers wouldn’t approve special interest, piecemeal projects. The message from lawmakers on Tuesday was that the projects they approve impact everyone. “It’s really been targeted at impacting all of Oklahoma, rural Oklahoma, Tulsa metro, Oklahoma City metro, really the entire state, and that’s why you see legislators from all across the board, all across the political spectrum really voting unanimous approval on 44 of 45 of the projects today, “said state Rep. Kyle Hilbert, (R) Bristow. Hilbert is one of the lawmakers tasked with leading the effort to allocate the money Oklahoma was given as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Projects recommended for passage by the entire legislature include more than half a billion dollars for broadband expansion and $400 million invested in water.” You look at communities from 80 years ago, some had electricity, some didn’t, you really had two different Americas in communities that had electricity and those that didn’t and really what we’re seeing is that shift again today where you have communities that have access to high-speed broadband and those that don’t,” Hilbert said. However, will the support that was seen on Tuesday for these projects to be seen next week when the full legislature votes? Hilbert wouldn’t make any promises.” I think we’re going to have a lot of discussion, as we should, as the legislative process goes on, and all members have a vote on these projects, and we’ll see how they are received next week,” Hilbert said. Lawmakers will be back at the Capitol starting next Wednesday for their special session, where a vast amount of funding will be approved. Organizations and agencies should have money in hand by Feb.

What would $1.87 billion buy you in Oklahoma?

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

One thing the two sides came together on was how to spend money. When the Senate and the House took control of the relief money, the governor said he hoped lawmakers would not approve special interest, piecemeal projects.

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

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

Hilbert is one of the lawmakers tasked with leading the effort to allocate the money Oklahoma was given as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Projects recommended for passage by the entire legislature include more than half a billion dollars for broadband expansion and $400 million invested in water.

“You look at communities from 80 years ago, some had electricity, some didn’t, you really had two different Americas in communities that had electricity and those that didn’t and really what we’re seeing is that shift again today where you have communities that have access to high-speed broadband and those that don’t,” Hilbert said.

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

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

Lawmakers will be back at the Capitol starting next Wednesday for their special session, where a vast amount of funding will be approved. Organizations and agencies should have money in hand by Feb.

.