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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2622

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/21/2019 03:34pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to economic development; broadband; modifying the border-to-border
broadband development grant program; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section
116J.395, subdivisions 5, 5a, 7, by adding subdivisions.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 4a. new text end

new text begin Broadband how-to guide. new text end

new text begin The director of the Office of Broadband
Development must develop and make publicly available a comprehensive "Broadband
How-to Guide" to assist grant applicants and potential grant applicants with broadband best
practices, funding options for broadband projects, the broadband grant application process,
how to effectively communicate with constituents regarding broadband, and any other
information necessary to successfully undertake broadband projects and deployment activities
in Minnesota. The guide must be made available to the public on the Office of Broadband
Development's website and the guide's availability must be communicated to the public and
interested stakeholders via a press release or other means of communication.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Application contents.

An applicant for a grant under this section shall provide
the following information on the application:

(1) the location of the project;

(2) the kind and amount of broadband infrastructure to be purchased for the project;

(3) evidence regarding the unserved or underserved nature of the community in which
the project is to be located;

(4) the number of households passed that will have access to broadband service as a
result of the project, or whose broadband service will be upgraded as a result of the project;

(5) significant community institutions that will benefit from the proposed project;

(6) evidence of community support for the project;

(7) the total cost of the project;

(8) sources of funding or in-kind contributions for the project that will supplement any
grant award;

(9) evidence that no later than deleted text beginsix weeksdeleted text end new text begin30 days new text endbefore submission of the application
the applicant deleted text begincontacted, in writing,deleted text end new text beginheld meetings with individual broadband service providers
or held an open meeting for
new text endall entities providing broadband service in the proposed project
area to ask for each broadband service provider's plan to upgrade broadband service in the
project area to speeds that meet or exceed the state's broadband speed goals in section
237.012, subdivision 1, within the time frame specified in the proposed grant activities;

(10) the new text beginattendance list of new text endbroadband service deleted text beginproviders' written responses to the inquiry
made
deleted text end new text beginproviders from the meetings held new text endunder clause (9); and

(11) any additional information requested by the commissioner.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:


Subd. 5a.

Challenge process.

(a) Within three days of the close of the grant application
process, the office shall publish on its website the proposed geographic broadband service
area and the proposed broadband service speeds for each application submitted.

(b) An existing broadband service provider in or proximate to the proposed project area
may, within 30 days of publication of the information under paragraph (a), submit in writing
to the commissioner a challenge to an application. A challenge must contain information
demonstrating that:

(1) the provider new text begin(i) new text endcurrently provides new text beginbroadband service, new text endor new text begin(ii) new text endhas begun construction
new text begin or undertaken permitting or other significant steps toward construction new text endto provide broadband
servicenew text begin,new text end to the proposed project area at speeds equal to or greater than the state speed goal
contained in section 237.012, subdivision deleted text begin1deleted text endnew text begin 2new text end; deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin and
new text end

(2) the provider commits to complete construction of broadband infrastructure and
provide broadband service in the proposed project area at speeds equal to or greater than
the state speed goal contained in section 237.012, subdivision deleted text begin1deleted text endnew text begin 2new text end, no later than 18 months
after the date grant awards are made under this section for the grant cycle under which the
application was submitted.new text begin A provider awarded a grant under this section that has not
completed construction of the broadband infrastructure in the proposed project area within
18 months following the date the grant was awarded is prohibited from making an application
for a grant award for the two grant cycles following the 18-month period.
new text end

(c) The commissioner must evaluate the information submitted in a provider's challenge
under this section, and is prohibited from funding a project if the commissioner determines
that the provider's commitment to provide broadband service that meets the requirements
of paragraph (b) in the proposed project area is credible.

(d) If the commissioner denies funding to an applicant as a result of a broadband service
provider's challenge made under this section, and the broadband service provider does not
fulfill the provider's commitment to provide broadband service in the project area, the
commissioner is prohibited from denying funding to an applicant as a result of a challenge
by the same broadband service provider for the following two grant cycles, unless the
commissioner determines that the broadband service provider's failure to fulfill the provider's
commitment was the result of factors beyond the broadband service provider's control.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Limitation.

(a) No grant awarded under this section may fund more than 50
percent of the total cost of a projectnew text begin unless the application area is within a designated tribal
area or the 128 qualified census tracts designated as a qualified opportunity zone by the
United States Treasury on May 18, 2018
new text end.

(b) Grants awarded to a single project under this section must not exceed $5,000,000.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116J.395, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 7a. new text end

new text begin Performance bond. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must require a performance bond for
a grant awarded to a broadband service provider that is under investigation at the time the
grant application is submitted or has been part of an investigation within the previous three
years by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for broadband service quality issues.
The commissioner may set the amount of the performance bond, except that the bond must
be at least five percent of the grant award amount.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to applications for projects made on or after June 30, 2019.
new text end