The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU lone ag group to testify in favor of rural broadband bill.

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Rural broadband is an issue for many Farmers Union families. As advancements in ag technology move at a rapid pace, some farms only fall further behind without access to rural broadband. That's why Farmers Union was happy and eager to support Senate Bill 71. During testimony on SB 71, proponents explained that there are still many rural pockets across the state without access. Groups across the spectrum joined in support of SB 71 including members from the telecommunications industry, the governor's office of economic development, and the Public Utilities Commission. Mysteriously, South Dakota Farmers Union was the only ag group to testify in favor of SB 71. Ultimately, SB 71 inserts telecommunication projects into the reinvestment payment program. This would allow projects up to $20 million for the purpose of expanding rural broadband. The bill was well received and passed both the committee and Senate floor unanimously. It now awaits action by House committee. For more information on Senate Bill 71 click the link below: http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=71&Session=2017 To listen to SDFU testimony on Senate Bill 71 click the link below: http://sdpb.sd.gov/SDPBPodcast/2017/sst14.mp3

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