Legislative leadership says $8 million for broadband settlement not likely

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 14:19:21-05

Top legislative leaders are no longer optimistic that the $8 million they squirrelled away last year will be used as a settlement in the state's ongoing broadband legal disputes.

However, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill both say they are still waiting on key rulings before making any final decisions.

Last year, Bedke and Hill had been negotiating with the two main vendors involved in the now-defunct broadband program for public schools. The $60 million statewide contract was deemed illegal, but legislative leaders wanted to compensate the companies for work provided but not yet paid for under the contract.

Those settlement talks have since dissolved after the companies and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office disagreed over who deserves compensation. Yet, the taxpayer money tucked away for that settlement has not been returned to the state's general fund.