In 2021, the general assembly authorized the broadband deployment board (board) to award money that the state received under the federal "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021" (federal act) for broadband deployment projects. The act updates the requirements for awarding grant money pursuant to the federal act to require that applications comply with finalized federal regulations regarding use of money under the federal act. The act also:
- Reduces the notice and comment period for an interested party to review and comment on a grant application from at least 60 days to 45 days;
- Exempts a grantee from the requirement to complete an approved project in 2 years or less if the grantee demonstrates to the board that the project is delayed due to a relevant disruption in the supply chain;
- Requires the board to apply the updated requirements to previously denied applications that sought grant awards under the federal act; and
- Establishes a process and remedies for appeals of a board decision regarding a grant application.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)