Charleston, WV - Senate Bill 315, otherwise known as the Broadband Bill, has come to a stand still in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
The bill would provide for the state to seek bonds with commitments from providers to expand fiber optic broadband infrastructure. It would help bring high-speed Internet to more rural areas of West Virginia and create one of the fastest and most affordable fiber optic infrastructures in the country.
The bill passed out of the Senate on February 18 by a vote of 29-5. It was introduced in the House the following day and sent to the House Committee on Political Subdivisions. The bill had broad bipartisan support in the Senate with 22 sponsors, but has not advanced in the House. It remains in committee, and it appears the Committee will not meet again before the end of the Regular Session.
“West Virginia is on the cusp of greatness. Broadband is the hub of the 21st Century in economic development, and this bill would bring that diversity to our state,” said lead sponsor Senator Chris Walters, R-Putnam.
The last day to pass a bill out of committee is Thursday, and it appears time for the bill to reach the House floor is quickly passing.
“I hope the people of West Virginia realize the potential significance of this bill, and contact their Delegates to help move it out of committee,” Senator Walters said. “I believe this is a jobs bill, and this is a good, common-sense for our state to reach her potential.”