Assembly Leadership Sidelines “Broadband for All” Bill Hurts Underserved Children, Parents and First Responders During Statewide Crisis.

August 31, 2020

Sacramento, Calif.- Yesterday, the California State Assembly inexplicably placed SB 1130, the “Broadband for All” bill, on its inactive file, killing the bill with no notice or explanation to the more than 50 organizations that support the measure, including rural and urban organizations, AARP, League of Cities and various small and large school districts. “During this crisis, children are sitting outside Taco Bell so they can access the Internet to do their homework, but the Assembly chose to kill SB 1130, the only viable solution in the state legislature to help close the digital divide and provide reliable broadband infrastructure for California students, parents, educators, and first responders in our communities,” Sen. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) said.

“What is worse, the Assembly leadership took this short-sighted action, without a word of explanation to the communities we both represent in Long Beach and Southeast Los Angeles. They deserve better, as do all of the communities throughout California, including our rural and remote areas, who need critical broadband infrastructure investments, during wildfire outbreaks.” Our communities look to us to ensure we are managing their needs during this unprecedented time and we cannot fail them. SB 1130 would have required the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to update the California Advanced Service Fund (CASF) program to encourage deployment of 21st century ready high-speed broadband service.

Prior to the Assembly sidelining the bill to its inactive file, the California State Senate and the Newsom administration had worked collaboratively in developing SB 1130 to provide broadband infrastructure that supports first-responders, tele-health services, students, educators, and parents in all communities across the state. SB 1130 is supported by over 50 organizations including, AARP, California Center for Rural Policy, League of California Cities, Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Long Beach Unified School District.

“Time is short, but we still have time to act on this legislation, so I am calling on Speaker Rendon to support the communities we serve together and reverse this decision and support our California families, seniors and first responders.” Gonzalez said.

“The state’s ability to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented fires we’re facing require us to stay as connected as possible. We still have time to do that, if the Assembly shows the leadership to reverse course and do the right thing.”