Hi, this is Representative Beth Meyers with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.
Here we are in the year 2022 and 650,000 Wisconsinites still lack access to high-speed broadband internet. That’s almost one out of every 10 people. In many parts of the state, the percentage is much higher. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the problem worse.
Thanks to Governor Evers, we are starting to chip away at this disparity. In his recent biennial budget, he proposed spending $151 million on grants, but the Republicans would only agree to $129 million in bonding. On his own, the Governor invested an additional $100 million in federal funds to address this need.
The fact is, even that’s not enough. The Public Service Commission received 194 applications requesting $495 million when PSC announced they would be awarding grants this summer.
While Governor Evers and Democrats have worked hard to address the digital divide, Republicans have refused to make the kind of meaningful investment necessary to bring broadband to all Wisconsinites, despite sitting on a 4 billion dollar surplus.
Rest assured, Democrats will continue to fight to bring technology to every corner of the state. Making sure 21st- century technology like telehealth services, online classes, and working remotely are options for everyone.