Access To Broadband Is One Issues Being Considered By 2021 General Assembly

They’re also looking at legislation involving sinkholes, telework.

 

 

 

 

 

Annapolis, Md (KM) Access to broadband has been an issue in many rural areas of Maryland, and Frederick County Delegate Carol Krimm is working on legislation to solve that problem.

A bill she is working on would set an Office of Broadband in the Department of Information Technology to assist local jurisdictions in improving access to high speed internet. The Office would also work state agencies on this issue. And it would establish a Joint Committee on Broadband to ensure local jurisdictions in Maryland are able to expand access to high speed internet, and make recommendations  on bills and policies and programs.

“What we have seen through the pandemic is that broadband is needed throughout the state,”; says Krimm. “There’s inequities with broadband.”

That includes students who were home from school, but didn’t have broadband access at home to take part in virtual learning.

Krimm also says she’s working on legislation covering telework. It “provides a policy in state government for telework. Also, it mandates that local and state government would have a policy on telework. And it’s also supporting telework in the private sector,” she says.

During this pandemic when so many people had to work from home, Krimm says telework reduced traffic congestion, and air pollution as fewer vehicles were on the road. “Better air quality all around,” she says.

In addition, Delegate Krimm is also working on a bill addressing sinkholes. Her bill would require¬† the Maryland Department of the Environment to define and map “zones of dewatering influence” in areas surrounding a surface mine in karst terrain. She says someone who owns property in this area and wants to sell it would have to inform the prospective buyer that the parcel is in a zone of dewatering. “And the reason you would do that is to give new purchasers the opportunity to purchase insurance,” says Krimm. “So that if a sinkhole does develop, they are covered under their insurance policy.”

In addition to Frederick County, the bill would also cover Baltimore, Carroll and Washington Counties.

 

 

By Kevin McManus