Tuesday, February 17, 2009



DENVER— Today, President Obama traveled to Denver to sign the $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” into law. Colorado is expected to receive $2.791 billion over the next two years. And Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) could not be more excited that some of these federal recovery dollars are coming in. As the Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth, Senator Schwartz has been working very hard to encourage an atmosphere of job creation, specifically in her district.

According to the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute:

Colorado will also see some of the $7 Billion earmarked for broadband Internet.

If Colorado sees even 2 % of this funding, it could provide $140 Million for Internet and digital infrastructure.

Senator Gail Schwartz introduced SB 162 to increase the mapping of broadband access through all areas of the state. Senator Schwartz saw the need to have a shovel-ready project for when the stimulus dollars came in, and this is that project. Colorado can’t expand broadband throughout the state without first mapping where it needs to go. This bill will pave the way for the federal funding which will lay out the broadband infrastructure in the state. These federal funds will help Colorado maintain and update that mapping long-term to continue the expansion of broadband.

“Schools, hospitals, and businesses don’t move to places where there is no broadband access,” said Sen. Schwartz. “It is important for us to focus our economic development state-wide: in rural areas in addition to our cities. These federal recovery dollars will bring essential support to Colorado and my broadband inventory bill helps to lay the ground work for the federal package.”

Today President Barack Obama addressed this part of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”: “Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit and building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout the nation.”

SB 162 will be next heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee, possibly on Friday.