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HF 3029

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/04/2020 03:16pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 01/30/2020
1st Engrossment Posted on 04/30/2020

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to telecommunications; establishing a grant program for distance learning
equipment; establishing a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased
to deal with COVID-19; requiring reports; appropriating money.

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

Section 1. new text beginDISTANCE LEARNING BROADBAND ACCESS GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definition. new text end

new text begin For the purposes of this section, "commissioner" means the
commissioner of education.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin A distance learning broadband access grant program is
established in the Department of Education to provide wireless or wire-line broadband
access for a limited duration to students currently lacking Internet access so that the students
may participate in distance learning offered by school districts and charter schools during
the peacetime public health emergency period that relates to the infectious disease known
as COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligible expenditures. new text end

new text begin A grant awarded under this section may be used to:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide a student with the equipment necessary for the student to use a broadband
connection to access learning materials available on the Internet through a mobile wireless
or wire-line broadband connection;
new text end

new text begin (2) reimburse a school district or charter school for actual costs incurred to provide
emergency distance learning wireless or wire-line broadband access during the 2019-2020
school year; and
new text end

new text begin (3) reimburse a school district or charter school for the cost of wireless or wire-line
broadband Internet access for households with students that did not otherwise have Internet
access before March 13, 2020, for the 2019-2020 school year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants. new text end

new text begin A Minnesota school district or charter school may apply
for a grant award under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Application review. new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant for a grant under this section must file
an application with the commissioner on a form developed by the commissioner. The
commissioner may consult with the commissioner of employment and economic development
when developing the form.
new text end

new text begin (b) An application for a grant under this subdivision must describe a school district's or
charter school's approach to identify and prioritize access for students unable to access the
Internet for distance learning and may include a description of local or private matching
grants or in-kind contributions.
new text end

new text begin (c) A school district or charter school may develop its application in cooperation with
the school district's or charter school's community education department, the school district's
or charter school's adult basic education program provider, a public library, an Internet
service provider, or other community partner.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner must award grants under this section on a first-come, first-served
basis.
new text end

new text begin (e) The commissioner must develop administrative procedures governing the application
and grant award process.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Grant amount. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must establish a maximum per-pupil amount
for grants awarded under this section based on (1) the number of districts and charter schools
that apply for a grant, and (2) the availability of federal money for a similar purpose.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginTELEMEDICINE EQUIPMENT REIMBURSEMENT GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Licensed health care provider" has the meaning given in Minnesota Statutes, section
256B.0625, subdivision 3b, paragraph (e).
new text end

new text begin (d) "Telemedicine" has the meaning given in Minnesota Statutes, section 62A.671,
subdivision 9.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Telemedicine equipment" means multimedia communications equipment and
software that facilitates the delivery of telemedicine by a licensed health care provider.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin A grant program is established in the Department of
Employment and Economic Development to award grants to reimburse licensed health care
providers and counties that purchase and install telemedicine equipment in order to provide
COVID-19-related health care services to Minnesotans.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants. new text end

new text begin A licensed health care provider or a county is eligible to
receive a grant under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Eligible expenditures. new text end

new text begin A grant may be made under this section to reimburse
the cost incurred by a licensed health care provider or a county to purchase and install
telemedicine equipment that enables the licensed health care provider to diagnose and
evaluate patients with respect to the infectious disease known as COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Application; review. new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant for a grant under this section must file
an application with the commissioner on a form developed by the commissioner. The
commissioner may consult with the commissioners of commerce, human services, and
health when developing the form.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must award grants under this section on a first-come, first-served
basis.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner must develop administrative procedures governing the application
and grant award process.
new text end

new text begin (d) When awarding grants, the commissioner must consult with the commissioner of
health to determine areas of the state with the greatest need for telemedicine equipment.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Limitation. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may establish a maximum amount for a grant
awarded under this section based on the number of applications received and the total
reimbursement amount requested.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) $8,000,000 in fiscal year 2020 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of employment and economic development for transfer to the commissioner
of education for emergency distance learning wireless or wire-line broadband access for
student grants for school districts and charter schools under section 1. Up to five percent of
the appropriation under this paragraph may be used to reimburse reasonable costs incurred
by the Department of Education to administer section 1. This is a onetime appropriation.
Any funds that remain unexpended on September 30, 2020, are transferred to the
border-to-border broadband fund account established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396.
By December 1, 2020, the commissioner of education must report to the legislature regarding
the districts and charter schools that received grants under section 1, the per-pupil amount
for each grant, and the number of students that were provided Internet access. The report
must also identify the costs to administer the grant program and the amount transferred to
the border-to-border broadband fund.
new text end

new text begin (b) $2,000,000 in fiscal year 2020 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of employment and economic development to award grants for the purchase
of telemedicine equipment under section 2. Up to five percent of the appropriation under
this paragraph may be used to reimburse the reasonable costs incurred by the Department
of Employment and Economic Development to administer section 2. This is a onetime
appropriation. Any funds that remain unexpended on September 30, 2020, are transferred
to the border-to-border broadband fund account established in Minnesota Statutes, section
116J.396. By December 31, 2020, the commissioner of employment and economic
development must report to the legislature regarding the number of applications received
under section 2, the number of grants awarded, the maximum and minimum grant amounts
awarded, and the mean and median grant amounts awarded. The report must also identify
the costs to administer the grant program and the amount transferred to the border-to-border
broadband fund.
new text end

new text begin (c) $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of employment and economic development for deposit in the border-to-border
broadband fund account established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396. Before July
1, 2021, the appropriation must be used only to provide broadband service in unserved
areas, except that broadband infrastructure, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section
116J.394, for that purpose may be placed in underserved areas. Beginning July 1, 2021, the
appropriation may be used for grants and the purposes described in Minnesota Statutes,
section 116J.395. Notwithstanding the limitation in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395,
subdivision 7, paragraph (a), the grants are available for 55 percent of total project cost if
the grant is matched by ten percent or more from a nonstate entity. The nonstate entity
providing the match may include but is not limited to organized townships, cities, counties,
foundations, nonprofits, school districts, or higher education institutions. This is a onetime
appropriation.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end