Broadband expansion bill fails in Iowa House

IOWA STATEHOUSE

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill to expand high speed Internet access to rural Iowans has failed in the Iowa House, dealing a blow to one of Governor Terry Branstad’s priorities.

The bill drew just 44 votes in favor and 51 against in the chamber where Republicans hold a majority of the seats.

Guy Vander Linden of Oskaloosa was one of the nine Republican “no” votes Friday. He says the bill was too loose with tax incentives, saying: “It sounds like a blank check I’m not willing to sign.”

A provision giving cellular companies more control over tower placement that angered city officials was removed at the last minute.

Branstad blamed Democrats for Washington-style politics, but House Democratic Leader Mark Smith says the Republican majority failed to pass the bill.

Two Democrats voted “yes.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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