Greetings, My Fellow Missourians
On Saturday, I attended the Eldorado Springs Annual Christmas Parade. They honored and recognized their VFW for being 100 years old this year. I posted the Missouri State Flag Riding my Horse “Big Sky Boy.” After the parade Marla and I joined Senator Sandy Crawford and her husband, John, along with Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary in grilling hotdogs for the Christmas Lighting in the Park.
Due to bad weather on Veterans Day, school was cancelled at Osceola and their Veterans Day Assembly Program was postponed to the following Monday. I was able to attend. The students served a hearty breakfast to the Veterans and then paid tribute in an all school assembly. The band performed, the choir sang and students recited poems. The program actually educated the student body on who a Veteran is and the meaning of Veterans Day. My “Hats Off” to the Osceola School for hosting such a wonderful breakfast and program for the local veterans that have served our country so sacrificially.
New program will help improve broadband access
A program created by the Missouri General Assembly to increase access to high speed internet is now in effect. The goal of the program is to ensure communities all across Missouri have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
Passed into law in 2018, HB 1872 established a grant program within the Department of Economic Development to expand broadband internet access to unserved and underserved parts of Missouri. During the 2019 session, the legislature approved funding for the program in the state budget. As a result, the program is now able to provide $5 million in grants that match up to 50 percent of the construction costs to expand broadband to areas that don’t have it.
With the launch of the program, Gov. Mike Parson said, “It’s a huge problem that nearly 20% of Missourians lack access to high speed internet. That’s the kind of problem that if you work toward solving it, it’s going to help with other problems, like retaining good talent or offering better health care and education for our communities. Broadband is exactly the kind of infrastructure that Missouri needs to grow and thrive in the future.”
The broadband grant program guidelines, selection criteria, application, and frequently asked questions are available on the Department of Economic Development’s website at this link: https://ded.mo.gov/content/missouri-broadband-grant-program.
Guidelines and scoring criteria are now posted on the department’s website. The grant application period will be open on December 4, 2019. Applications may be submitted through January 6, 2020. Projects will be selected based on the need for servicing unserved areas of the state, meeting or exceeding the state’s minimum definition of high-speed internet, the applicant’s share of total project costs, economic and community benefit, and adoption strategies.
Interim hours: Now that Session is over for 2019, I will be back in the District full time. If you need any assistance my Legislative Assistant Amy Helton will continue to be in my Capitol office Tuesday-Thursday and will be happy to help you.