TLA TEXLINE NO. 251
Posted: July 1, 2009 • LEGISLATIVE ISSUES NETWORK


In this issue:
Special Session and Stimulus Broadband Funds


Legislative Special Session
The state legislature has convened for the First Special Session of the 81st Legislature. The Governor called this special session to address unresolved matters, including a Sunset scheduling bill for several agencies; (2) the authorization and appropriation of Proposition 12 transportation bonds and creation of the Texas Transportation Revolving Fund; and (3) the extension of certain specific comprehensive development agreements (CDA) to build roads. Lawmakers have set an aggressive timeline for completing this work and hope to end the special session in a matter of days.

Federal Broadband Funds Update
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has posted additional information on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the program that will deploy American Reinvestment and Recovery Act broadband funding. See http://www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants/. Information on the actual grant programs and specifics are expected shortly.

Funded at $4.7 billion, BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, to enhance broadband capacity at public computer centers, and to encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. Through this support, BTOP will also advance the Recovery Actís objectives to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.

Broadband in Rural Communities
The Texas Library Association is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) on a Texas Broadband Task Force to provide information on libraries in rural communities. The TDA task force hopes to look at the needs of rural communities and to support the deployment of federal broadband funding for rural communities in Texas.