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2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 20, 2020 - Introduced by Senators Schachtner, Smith, Ringhand,
Carpenter, Erpenbach, Hansen and Miller, cosponsored by Representatives
Shankland, Vruwink, Doyle, Anderson, Considine, Emerson, Kolste,
Milroy, Ohnstad, Pope, Sargent, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Stubbs and Subeck.
Referred to Committee on Utilities and Housing.
SB834,1,3 1An Act to renumber 196.504 (1) (ad) and 196.504 (1) (ae); to amend 196.504
2(2) (c); and to create 196.504 (1) (af) of the statutes; relating to: prioritizing
3certain farm projects under the broadband expansion grant program.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Public Service Commission makes grants to eligible
applicants for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved
areas. In making the grants, current law requires the PSC to give priority to projects
that satisfy various requirements. This bill requires the PSC to also give priority to
projects for expanding fiber optic broadband lines to farms. The bill defines “farm”
as land primarily devoted to agricultural uses related to crop and animal production
that are referenced in a rule promulgated by the Department of Revenue.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB834,1 4Section 1 . 196.504 (1) (ad) of the statutes is renumbered 196.504 (1) (ah).
SB834,2 5Section 2 . 196.504 (1) (ae) of the statutes is renumbered 196.504 (1) (ak).
SB834,3 6Section 3 . 196.504 (1) (af) of the statutes is created to read:
1196.504 (1) (af) “Farm” means land primarily devoted to an agricultural use,
2as defined in s. Tax 18.05 (1) (a) or (b), Wis. Adm. Code.
SB834,4 3Section 4. 196.504 (2) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB834,2,204 196.504 (2) (c) To establish criteria for evaluating applications and awarding
5grants under this section. The criteria shall prohibit grants that have the effect of
6subsidizing the expenses of a provider of telecommunications service, as defined in
7s. 182.017 (1g) (cq), or the monthly bills of customers of those providers. The criteria
8shall give priority to projects that include matching funds, that expand fiber optic
9broadband lines to farms,
that involve public-private partnerships, that affect
10unserved areas, that are scalable, that promote economic development, that will not
11result in delaying the provision of broadband service to areas neighboring areas to
12be served by the proposed project, or that affect a large geographic area or a large
13number of underserved individuals or communities. When evaluating grant
14applications under this section, the commission shall consider the degree to which
15the proposed projects would duplicate existing broadband infrastructure,
16information about the presence of which is provided to the commission by the
17applicant or another person within a time period designated by the commission; the
18impacts of the proposed projects on the ability of individuals to access health care
19services from home and the cost of those services; and the impacts of the proposed
20projects on the ability of students to access educational opportunities from home.
SB834,2,2121 (End)