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Broadband settlement costs adding up

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Posted at 11:52 AM, Apr 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-21 13:52:49-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho officials originally agreed to pay $7.2 million in a settlement over an illegal statewide contract that provided broadband in public schools.

However, a March ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court halted settlement talks after justices upheld a lower court's ruling deeming the $60 million contract was illegal. The surprise ruling came down in the final days of the settlement being finalized.

According to a draft settlement agreement obtained by The Associated Press, the two broadband vendors -- ENA and CenturyLink -- would have received $3.6 million each. While vendors have filed tort claims demanding a total of $11 million, the companies agreed to settle for a smaller amount to cover the work the companies performed under the contract but weren't yet paid for.

Since then, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill successfully requested $8 million from the Idaho Legislature to use for a possible new agreement earlier this year.