Governor Brown signs community broadband bond financing bills into law

30 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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Cities and other local agencies in California will be able to issue bonds to pay for building broadband infrastructure, thanks to two new laws approved by Governor Brown yesterday. Assembly bill 2292 and senate bill 628 expand the use of infrastructure financing districts (IFDs), on the one hand specifically allowing broadband to be included in old-style IFDs and creating a new kind, called enhanced infrastructure financing districts, on the other. In both cases, the bonds can be repaid by earmarking the incremental tax revenue that the project is expected to produce.… More

Governor's pen will write the story for community broadband development in California

18 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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Three bills with big implications for community broadband in California are still sitting on Governor Brown’s desk, waiting for his approval or veto:

Assembly bill 2272 would blow a huge hole in the California Advanced Services Fund and roll back much of the progress made last year when the legislature – and Brown – added $90 million to the kitty and made independent ISPs eligible for broadband construction subsidies. By requiring every CASF-funded project – past, present and future – to follow the state’s so-called prevailing wage rules, the effective subsidy would drop from 60% (for underserved areas) to less than 30% and the cost to the state would nearly double.… More

Broadband missing on California's new enhanced infrastructure list

3 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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A deal to give local governments more infrastructure financing options finally came together in the closing hours of the California legislature’s 2014 session. Assuming Governor Brown signs senate bill 628 – likely, considering that his staff was deep in the negotiations that led to it – it’s good news overall for local governments. The measure gives local agencies the ability to create enhanced infrastructure financing districts that can issue bonds to build public facilities and earmark the future tax revenue the project is expected to generate to pay the money back.… More

California governor, lawmakers consider expanded infrastructure financing power for local government

13 August 2014 by Steve Blum
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A new plan to finance public infrastructure is being hatched in Sacramento and, at this point, broadband is included.

Chris Hill, a senior budget analyst working for California governor Jerry Brown, talked about the negotiations going on with legislative leaders, during an infrastructure breakout session at yesterday’s California Economic Summit conference at the state capitol. The idea is to allow local governments to create what are being called enhanced infrastructure financing districts that could sell bonds to build a wide variety of projects and repay the debt using property tax money.… More