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Rep. Ashby’s broadband bill nears Senate passage after committee OK

Rep. Ashby’s broadband bill nears Senate passage after committee OK
Rep. Ashby’s broadband bill nears Senate passage after committee OK
Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 1:03 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KTRE) - Rep. Trent Ashby’s bill to make broadband access available in rural areas may just be a step away from Senate approval after a committee voted in favor of the bill on Friday.

HB 5 passed on a 9-0 vote in the Senate Committee on Transportation, which is chaired by Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville).

The bill would create a broadband office at the comptroller of public accounts to pinpoint and address areas of the state with the worst broadband capabilities.

Nichols said he had a near-identical bill (SB 5) which had already passed through the Senate. In order to expedite the process, Nichols suggested adding a substitution to HB 5 so it is identical to SB 5 and it could be placed on the local calendar, which would keep the bill from being debated on the Senate floor.

Nichols explained the bill has unanimous support in the House and Senate.

The committee voted for the bill to be placed on the local calendar.

Gov. Greg Abbott has voiced public approval of the legislation.

Previous story: Ashby’s broadband bill gets final passage in Texas House

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