The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Joint Bond Review Committee Meeting: September 23, 2009

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Last week the Broadband Contract Subcommittee voted unanimously to accept recommendations from the Educational Broadband Services Commission (EBSC), regarding the leasing of state broadband spectrum. The Subcommittee is part of the Joint Bond Review Committee, which helps plan permanent improvement projects and assists in crafting future capital management policies.

In a prior meeting, the Broadband Subcommittee agreed to the leasing of 95 percent of what has been termed “excess” SCETV broadband spectrum and recommended to the full committee that the lease be approved. The state and ETV plans to enter into agreements with Clearwire Spectrum Holdings III, LLC and DigitalBridge Spectrum Corporation for the lease of the excess spectrum.

This past Wednesday, the Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) met to discuss this proposal. The ten members of the committee are:

• Senator Hugh Leatherman, Sr.

• Senator Glenn McConnell

• Senator Harvey Peeler, Jr.

• Senator William O’Dell

• Senator Thomas Alexander

• Representative Annette Young

• Representative Lanny Littlejohn

• Representative Daniel Cooper

• Representative H.B. “Chip” Limehouse, III

• Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter

As the only member who disagreed with the proposal and believed that this recommendation is not in the state’s best interests, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter raised the issue of state agency IT needs and how much money is currently being spent to meet these needs.

The Joint Bond Review Committee voted 8-1 to approve the proposal, with Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter in opposition. Representative Chip Limehouse did not attend the meeting. By leasing the excess SCETV spectrum, South Carolina will collect approximately $142.7 million over 30 years, receiving $7 million of that payment up front.

The committee’s decision will be presented for review and approval at the next Budget & Control Board meeting, which will most likely take place in December.

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Written by SC Policy Council

September 24, 2009 at 11:18 am

Posted in Committee Meetings

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