ITA News

May 17, 2019

 

Legislative Update

The Illinois General Assembly was in session this week. The House and Senate did not act on any legislation directly affecting the telecommunications industry this week. The primary focus of the Governor and Legislators is on passing a state budget and Capital Infrastructure plan before the May 31 Adjournment Date.

Pritzker Unveils $41.5 Billion Capital Infrastructure Proposal

Governor Pritzker’s Administration briefed legislators today on the basic components of his “Rebuild Illinois” Capital Infrastructure Proposal. It is a six-year spending proposal totaling $41.5 Billion for transportation infrastructure and vertical capital projects for schools, public buildings and hospitals and other initiatives including statewide broadband expansion.

The plan includes $420 million for broadband deployment with $400 million for statewide broadband expansion and $20 million for the Illinois Century Network.

Here’s the information from the briefing document on the Broadband Deployment program in the proposed Capital Plan:

Broadband Deployment

Access to broadband access has emerged as a critical need for families, entrepreneurs, farmers, and industries because of its ability to facilitate economic growth and development in today’s economy. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed broadband, compared to just 4 percent of urban Americans.

Rebuild Illinois includes $400 million to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a statewide broadband deployment grant program. This appropriation will begin to expand access to reliable, high-speed internet service statewide. According to the USDA, fully utilizing digital technologies within the agriculture industry could create approximately $47 to $65 billion annually in additional gross benefit for the U.S. economy.

Rebuild Illinois includes $20 million for the Illinois Century Network (ICN), a high speed broadband network serving K-12 and higher education institutions, public libraries and museums, state and local governments, and broadband service providers. This appropriation will also allow the ICN to provide internet and intranet connectivity for thousands of sites statewide, ensuring high availability for cloud-based content, disaster recovery services, and data, video, and audio communications. The network owns or leases approximately 2,100 miles of fiber optic cables throughout the state and interconnects with multiple regional public and private networks throughout Illinois.

Statewide Broadband

$400 million for Statewide Broadband Deployment to expand and strengthen broadband network infrastructure, broadband access in rural areas, health information technology, telemedicine, distance learning and public safety.

Illinois Century Network

$20 million for the ICN, to repair and expand the broadband network for schools, refresh aged components of the network and expand the existing network, with a focus on the K-12 portion.

Here’s a summary breakdown of the overall capital program spending and the proposed tax/ and fee increases to pay for the program:

Capital Spending:

  • Transportation: $28.6 billion
  • Education: $5.9 billion
  • State Facilities: $4.4 billion
  • Environment/Conservation: $1bilion
  • Broadband deployment: $420 million
  • Healthcare and Human Services: $$440 million
  • Economic & Community Development $711 million

Revenue:

  • Motor fuel tax increase on gas and diesel of 19 cents (doubles the current tax on gas and diesel)
  • Increases in annual vehicle registration fees (currently $101) to $199 for vehicles 3 years old or newer, $169 for vehicles 4-6 years old, $139 for vehicles 7-11 years old, and $109 for vehicles 12 years and older. Electric vehicle registrations will increase from $34 annually to $250 annually.
  • Increases the liquor gallonage tax on beer by 4.6 cents, wine by 66 cents and distilled liquor by $4.05
  • Real estate transfer tax for non-residential transactions increases from 50 cents per $500 in market value to $1 per $500 in market value
  • Increases taxes on video gaming
  • New tax on ridesharing of $1 per ride
  • 7% tax on cable, satellite and streaming services
  • 6% tax on daily and hourly parking garage fees, 9% tax on monthly and annual parking garage fees

Substantive legislation has not been introduced yet outlining the specifics of the capital program. The Governor and legislators will continue negotiations on his capital plan over the final two weeks of the legislative session.


The 114th Annual Convention

The 114th ITA Annual Convention is only three weeks away! If you haven't registered for the convention but plan to attend, please do so by clicking here. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri June 9-11.


 A Special Thanks to our Annual Partners!


2019 Gigabit Partners:

 

2019 Megabit Partners:


Thank you to our 2019 Annual Convention Sponsors!

ADMIRAL SPONSORS:

JSI

INdigital

 

CAPTAIN SPONSORS:

Illinois Rural Broadband Association

GVNW Consulting

BKD CPAs & Advisors

 

FIRST MATE SPONSORS:

CassComm

Finley Engineering

ElectriCom

MPetro Venture, LLC

Central Cable Contractors

 

SAILOR SPONSORS:

CORE Telecom Systems

Holtger Bros. Inc.

 NECA

NISC

Power & Tel

Moss Adams

 

EVENT SPONSORS:

Frontier Communications

Shawnee Communications

Consolidated Communications

 

Illinois Telecommunications Association

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           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262

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