Two broadband subsidy bills have been wrapped together in the California legislature, and appear to be on track for approval this coming week. Senate bill 740, which adds $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and expands eligibility a bit, and assembly bill 1299, which gives $25 million of that money to public housing projects, now contain mirror language that make them all but inseparable.
It’s possible that the extra money could be approved even if the public housing piece is shot down, but the political horse trading that got the bills to this point make it unlikely. Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D – Los Angeles) initiated the push for broadband facilities and marketing subsidies in public housing, and became a necessary force behind the extra CASF money when cable lobbyists stalled the bill in his committee. He’s shepherding SB 740 in the assembly, and has tapped an ally, Kevin de Leon (D – Los Angeles), to speak for his bill, AB 1299, in the senate.
Bradford is accommodating to industry lobbyists, but he is a consistent advocate for urban interests too.
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