Thursday, June 9, 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser: Rep. Nass' Letter to Reps. Fitzgerald and Vos

June 9, 2011

Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald
Room 211 West
State Capitol

Representative Robin Vos
Co-Chair, Joint Finance Committee
Room 309 East
State Capitol

Dear Speaker Fitzgerald and Representative Vos:

I am writing to ask your support in altering the telecommunication provisions of the omnibus motion on the UW System (Joint Finance Motion 489).  
Specifically, items 23 through 26 are provisions that will have unintended consequences of both a policy and fiscal nature.
The Legislature needs more time and information to make an informed decision on this complex telecommunications issue.  
I am recommending the following:
1.) Remove the provisions incorporated in items 23 through 26 of Joint Finance Motion 489.

2.) Amend the budget to include a 180 day prohibition on the UW System expending any revenues associated with the Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

3.) Request an official opinion from the Wisconsin Attorney General on whether state statute 36.11 (49) prohibits the activities of the UW System in regards to “WiscNet” and the BCCB Grant expenditures.

I believe this alternative will allow us to gain a better understanding of all the issues involved, especially the legal concerns raised by the telecommunications industry.  
Additionally, the 180 day period would provide an opportunity for serious dialogue between representatives of the UW System and the private sector telecommunications industry.
I look forward to your response.


Steve NassState Representative
Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee 

[RG comment:  Looks like we'll need to educate Van Hollen, not exactly Mr. Fair N. Impartial, if Fitzgerald and Vos decide to address Nass' concerns.]

Related WiscNet posts:
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

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