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.
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
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
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.