According to Governor Inslee, “Rapid technological innovation is transforming every school, every hospital, every company and every industry in Washington. Broadband service that allows citizens to connect to this innovation has become the critical infrastructure need of the 21st century.”

To that end, he recently proposed a new Statewide Broadband office to serve as the central planning and coordinating body for public and private efforts to deploy broadband across the state. The office will serve as an information clearinghouse for local, state, and federal programs. It will set high-level policy, develop a statewide plan, and incentivize the deployment of quality and affordable broadband services across Washington.

In his budget, the Governor funds a competitive loan and grant program that will be administered by the Public Works Board. While WSAC applauds efforts to expand such critical infrastructure, we have expressed concerns regarding the use of $7.5 million in funds from the Public Works Assistance Account to do so.

We will continue to work with the legislature on these bills as well as other bills that address access to broadband and will encourage the use of a stable, long term funding source that does not compete with other local government priorities.

Additional Resources

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Mellani McAleenan

Mellani joined WSAC as the Director of Government Relations and General Counsel. Mellani has worked in government relations since 2000, most recently as Director of Government Affairs for the Dental Association. Mellani has also represented the state judicial branch of government as the primary legislative advocate for the Board for Judicial Administration, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Supreme Court. Mellani earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Seattle University and her BS in Human Services from Wayland Baptist University.
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