Rural communities left behind with Whitmer broadband veto

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley previously voted in favor of legislation that would have encouraged broadband investments in areas with limited or no access and on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s second veto of legislation aimed at expanding access to reliable internet for Michiganders in rural communities.

“People can hardly accomplish their day-to-day tasks without, at some point, being connected to the internet,” said Daley, R-Lum. “The pandemic has only further highlighted the need for improved connectivity as many people are working from home and students are learning remotely.”

Lawmakers from both chambers worked on legislation that would have boosted broadband investments in underserved communities in an effort to get more folks connected to reliable internet service. The governor, however, vetoed two separate versions of this legislation.

In her most recent veto letter, the governor claims her office is doing enough to solve the lack of reliable internet that plagues so many communities across the state and that legislation isn’t needed.

The senate on Tuesday attempted an override of the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 46, but the vote fell short of the required two-thirds majority with Senate Democrats siding with the governor.

“I supported this legislation when it was before this body and I voted to override the governor’s veto,” Daley said. “This bill would have helped lower government-imposed costs, reduce barriers to expansion and encourage meaningful investments in our communities.”

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