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Pennsylvania Governor Continues Push for Rural Broadband Across State

Wyanesburg, Pa. (March 4, 2019)  - Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) is pushing his plan for expanding rural broadband access across the state.

As part of that effort, the governor visited Waynesburg Central Elementary School Friday to highlight why this is such an important issue.

“For Pennsylvania to succeed we must close the digital divide to ensure every citizen has the access it needs to connect to the ever-expanding digital world in which we live and work,” said Governor Wolf. “Our students, parents, and teachers deserve better, and we can provide that through Restore Pennsylvania.”

Wolf's administration says nearly a million people in Pennsylvania don't have reliable high-speed internet (broadband).  The governor announced details of his Restore Pennsylvania plan—an infrastructure initiative that focuses on five priority areas, including broadband expansion.

The plan will invest $4.5 billion over the next four years using funds from the monetization of the severance tax. During his visit to Waynesburg Central Elementary School, the governor shared how the plan would impact school districts.

“The Central Greene School District is proud to embrace Governor Wolf’s proposal to expand high-speed internet in rural communities,” said Superintendent Helen McCracken, who was quoted in a release from the Governor's office. “We owe our children and our school community broadband internet access, which should not be a function of who you are or where you are from; it should be a rite of passage to academic achievement, communication and future success. It’s what our students and community deserve so that we may compete equally now and in the future.”

Wolf wants to pay for it with the severance tax on Marcellus shale drilling. However, according to WENY News, the Republican Majority in Pennsylvania currently opposes the plan.

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