On Friday February 23 the Joint Committee on Information Management and Technology led by Co-Chair Nancy Nathanson passed out HB 4023 -A with the -13 amendment:

“(b) Subject to section 6 of this 2018 Act and notwithstanding ORS 276A.206 (6)(c), may provide broadband services and operations to any other public body, as defined in ORS 174.109, any federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon or any nonprofit organization that the State Chief Information Officer designates as a community of interest under ORS 276A.206.

Under the -13 ammendment, the State Chief Information Office will convene a rules advisory committee for HB 4023 which will include a representative from AOC to clarify how and when the state can partner with local governments and others to provide broadband services. The bill now goes to Joint Ways and Means.

The Telecom lobby worked very hard to defeat the -13 amendment but  were only able to persuade Senator Linthicum and Representative Nearman to oppose the ability of the state to work with local governments, schools and tribes to provide broadband services where the private sector can’t or won’t. Special thanks to Co-Chair Nathanson for her leadership in shepherding this bill which will provide better government efficiency and services to rural areas. Representatives Pam Marsh and David Brock-Smith also were strong supporters.
Contributed by: Mike McArthur | AOC Executive Director