Distance learning, telemedicine, broadband grants passes Senate

A bill to provide access to those students with internet access issues during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency passed the Minnesota Senate this week on a 66-0 vote. The $8 million appropriated can be used to provide devices to students to access online learning materials. The bill also establishes $2 million for a telemedicine equipment reimbursement grant program administered by DEED. The money is available to eligible applicants for the purchase and installation of telemedicine equipment to serve patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

$10 million is also made available for border-to-border broadband grants targeting unserved areas. The resources available for border-to-border broadband grants are only available if money is reimbursable by the federal government.

Senate DFLers are seeing teachers across the state to support their students during this pandemic. Distance learning can be difficult especially for students without access to internet and other resources, and Senate DFLers committee to making sure all students succeed and the achievement gap is not widened during this time of distance learning. (SF 4494)