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Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference on March 29th at Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School in Beaumont on expanding broadband access across Texas. The Governor was joined by Speaker Dade Phelan, Representative Trent Ashby, and Hamshire-Fannett ISD Superintendent Dwaine Augustine to discuss the importance of reliable broadband for education, business, and health care. Representative Ashby is the author of broadband legislation in the House that would create a state broadband office and a comprehensive broadband plan for Texas.

Earlier this year, the Governor named broadband access as an emergency item for the 87th legislative session.

“Broadband access is no longer a luxury, it is an essential tool for all Texans,” said Governor Abbott. “Schools need broadband to connect with students, businesses need it to remain competitive, and our doctors and nurses and their patients need it for telemedicine purposes. The importance of closing the digital divide has never been more clear, and I look forward to working with Speaker Phelan, Representative Ashby, and the rest of the Legislature to expand broadband access to all Texans.”

The Texas Senate passed the bill unanimously on March 31st — sending it to the Texas House for consideration where it faces some opposition by fiscally conservative Republicans.

You can track the bill’s progress in TAAHP’s Advocacy and Action Center – search “SB 5”

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