Madison, WI – Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) released the following statement regarding his appointment to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access:
“Throughout my service on behalf of the 17th Senate District, I have championed and led the effort to expand broadband into rural Wisconsin. In 2016, I chaired the Legislative Council Study Committee on Rural Broadband, which secured a stable stream of funding, identified other funding options and fine-tuned criteria and processes to deploy Rural Broadband Expansion Grants.
In the last budget, I led the investment of $48 million for Rural Broadband Expansion Grants. I also wrote Act 128, which creates a telephone company tax exemption for property used to provide broadband service to a rural or underserved area – to further incentivize private investment in rural broadband.
While there continue to be unserved and underserved areas in the 17th Senate District, and throughout Wisconsin, we have made tremendous progress. In the most recent grant cycle, there are 10 projects in the 17th Senate District with a total grant award of $4.4 million. Nearly 18% of the grants awarded statewide in 2020 are for projects in the communities I represent.
I look forward to serving on the Task Force and am proud that several residents and leaders from the 17th Senate District are also on the committee. Brett Schuppner, General Manager of the Reedsburg Utility Commission and Shannon Clark, CEO and General Manager of the Richland Electric Cooperative have been appointed to the committee with me. Brett and Shannon will bring tremendous knowledge and expertise to this discussion.
This task force will have strong, rural voices to represent the unique challenges in our communities. I look forward to our work together to continue expanding broadband in rural Wisconsin.”