Senator Roy Blunt discusses broadband and DACA with state lawmakers

7 months 1 week 1 day ago Wednesday, April 04 2018 Apr 4, 2018 Wednesday, April 04, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT April 04, 2018 in News
By: Hailey Jennings, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt addressed federal issues with the Missouri General Assembly in the state capitol Wednesday morning.

The brief talk touched on opioids, rural broadband access, China tariffs, and DACA.

When discussing rural broadband, Blunt said Missouri needs to make wider access a priority.

"They need to raise twice as much food on essentially the same amount of land so from an agriculture perspective, not just having broadband to the house but having broadband to the field that lets you and your equipment know what part of the field you're in, what's the best way to deal with that part of the field scene-wise and fertilizer-wise and otherwise is a good idea. But the broader broadband opportunity is just for rural Missourians to be able to participate in that large international economy that you can't participate in without the kind of access that the broadband gives you," Blunt said. 

Rep. Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph, is sponsoring a bill that will increase broadband coverage in the state of Missouri.

Johnson said there are so many reasons to expand it.

"Number one, we have over a million people in the state of Missouri that don't have reliable broadband, 51 percent of the state does not have coverage and we've got to go into some areas that are unserved and this is going to increase online distance learning programs that'll help expand small business and basically help a lot of people to have dependable Internet access," Johnson said. 

Johnson said he modeled his plan on Minnesota's legislation, saying he "greatly improved it."

BJ Tanksley, director of State Legislative Affairs at the Missouri Farm Bureau, agrees. He said lack of broadband access is the main thing holding rural Missouri back.

"When we look at broadband, we think about education and healthcare and telemedicine. A lot of our rural medical clinics have been closed down recently; education doesn't have the funding of our urban partners. But when we talk about broadband we say that an Internet connection could bring the highest quality education or medicine to any community."

Tanksley said economic development, healthcare and education are all things that could be improved with stronger broadband access.

Tanksley also said Internet access is a harsh reality for members in the rural community.

"We hear it all the time from our members that live in rural areas of the state, that if their kids want to do homework or need to have a quality connection, they're going to the nearest McDonalds or other public place to have a quality connection," Tanksley said.

When discussing DACA, Blunt said students should be able to keep DACA if they are on their best behavior.

"I think there is a lot of appropriate sympathy for kids who were brought here and grew up here and really know no other country. I thought the president was very forward leaning in the position he took last year and I think a response to that should've been, 'Yeah, we are going to try to solve the problem at its root by giving you the money,'" Blunt said. He criticized Democrats for taking the president's offer to extend protections to children to serve their own political agenda.  

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS - A former assistant attorney general announced his campaign for Missouri Attorney General Monday morning. In a... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, November 12 2018 Nov 12, 2018 Monday, November 12, 2018 10:12:00 AM CST November 12, 2018 in News
BISMARCK (AP) — Authorities are investigating a woman's death in southeast Missouri as a homicide. KFVS-TV reports that the... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, November 12 2018 Nov 12, 2018 Monday, November 12, 2018 8:47:04 AM CST November 12, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - A man accused of moving the dismembered body of his friend's common law wife pleaded guilty to... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, November 12 2018 Nov 12, 2018 Monday, November 12, 2018 8:16:00 AM CST November 12, 2018 in News
OSAGE COUNTY - Osage County law enforcement took a fugitive from Gasconade County into custody Sunday. Sheriff's deputies got... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, November 12 2018 Nov 12, 2018 Monday, November 12, 2018 7:44:00 AM CST November 12, 2018 in News
UPDATE (11:25am) - Snowfall continues in central Missouri and will eventually exit around 2-4pm this afternoon. Most areas have received... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 7:06:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - There may be 7,000 feet of model train track in their backyard for people to come see,... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 6:42:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two men were injured in North Columbia after a shooting on Ballenger Lane at approximately 1:20 p.m. Sunday... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 4:21:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is holding mandatory chronic waste disease (CWD) testing in 31 counties until 8... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 3:37:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - People gathered near the intersection of North Garth Avenue and East Walnut Street in West Columbia Sunday afternoon... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 2:33:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gingerbread houses filled a hallway in the Columbia Mall Sunday afternoon to support families in mid-Missouri. The... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 1:59:00 PM CST November 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A memorial to St. Louis area service members who have died in war was mostly neglected... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, November 11 2018 Nov 11, 2018 Sunday, November 11, 2018 12:03:55 PM CST November 11, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A lake-area fire district is warning of a phone scam asking for donations. The Tri-County Fire... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:46:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Capital Region Goldschmidt Cancer Center held its inaugural Festival of Trees fundraiser Saturday. Local artists and... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:35:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri Girl Scouts held a vigil to remember the four people killed in a Wisconsin hit-and-run last week.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:30:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Multiple groups supporting medical marijuana held a discussion Saturday, just days after Missouri voters approved Amendment 2. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The air thick with smoke from a ferocious wildfire that was still burning homes Saturday, residents... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:31:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri drivers will be getting new red, white and blue license plates to commemorate the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:11:00 PM CST November 10, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — It will cost more to stay at an electric campsite in Missouri's parks, beginning May 1. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 10 2018 Nov 10, 2018 Saturday, November 10, 2018 10:40:31 AM CST November 10, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 29°
12pm 30°
1pm 30°
2pm 30°
3pm 30°