The Iowa Senate voted 47-0 Wednesday evening to approve the state appropriations bill, which includes $100 million for expanding broadband infrastructure statewide. The Senate vote came hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 848, which sets up three grant tiers with various upload and download speed requirements that companies can apply for to extend service to sparsely populated areas of the state. The appropriations bill sets general fund spending for state departments for fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1. It includes $100 million for the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program to expand high-speed internet statewide. The measure, approved by the House on April 21, now goes to Reynolds’ desk for her signature. The $100 million contained in the appropriations bill is less than what the governor had proposed in her Condition of the State address in January, when she proposed $450 million over three years -- or $150 million a year -- to expand high-speed internet to underserved areas of the state. Initial conversations revolved around a proposal to set the standard at 100 megabit per second upload and download speeds, but that threshold was lowered under House File 848. Leaders of the Iowa Business Council and Iowa Chamber Alliance said that despite the lower funding and the lower internet speeds, the investment is a good step forward to support the increasing need for high-speed internet brought on the coronavirus pandemic, and more people learning and working from home and the increased demand for telehealth services. The appropriations bill totaled $149.6 million.