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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Telecom powerhouses won a victory in New York on Friday when a federal court barred the state from enforcing a new affordable broadband program that would require them to provide $15 internet service.

Why it matters: The court order sends a signal to other states that they will face an uphill legal battle if they copy New York's first-in-the nation law.

Driving the news: A federal judge sided with telecom trade groups that sought a preliminary injunction to halt New York's broadband program for low-income households from taking effect June 15.

  • The judge noted the program could reduce annual net income by at least $1 million for some companies, as well as other arguments from the trade groups on their likelihood of success in the underlying litigation.
  • Trade associations USTelecom, CTIA, the New York State Telecommunications Association and other smaller groups sued in April, arguing New York doesn't have the authority to mandate broadband prices.

What they're saying: “The broadband industry is committed to working with state and federal policymakers on sustainable solutions that will serve the needs of all low-income Americans," the broadband association coalition said in a statement.

  • "While well-intended, the state’s law ignored the $50 monthly broadband discount Congress enacted, as well as the many commitments, programs and offerings that broadband providers have made for low-income consumers.”

The other side: "We always knew big telecom would pull out all the stops to protect their profits at the expense of the New Yorkers who need access to this vital utility the most," Rich Azzopardi, senior advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said in a statement. "We are going to continue to fight for them."​

Go deeper

Jun 10, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

How the Twin Cities metro plans to spend federal COVID relief

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Local governments in Minnesota are figuring out how they plan to spend $2.1 billion of federal coronavirus relief that's being allocated to the state, counties and municipalities.

Why it matters: Officials in the Twin Cities metro want to put the money toward things that affect our communities, such as affordable housing, homeless outreach, public safety, economic development and broadband infrastructure.

Catch up quick: The U.S. Treasury last month decided how much of the $1.9 trillion in American Rescue Plan funding states, counties and local governments would receive.

  • The Treasury set up a long list of guidelines over how the funds can be spent, and using it to replenish reserves isn't allowed.

The state of play: Minneapolis, the biggest recipient, is debating this week how to spend $271 million.

  • Mayor Jacob Frey's $89 million plan for the first round of funding includes $37 million for economic rebuilding, $28 million for housing/homelessness, and $11.5 million for public safety.
  • It includes a $3 million guaranteed basic income pilot, which would provide 200 families with $500 per month over the span of two years.

St. Paul is getting $167 million, and the city is planning to discuss budgets for its departments through July.

  • Deputy Mayor Jaime Tincher presented a plan earlier this month for some immediate needs, including $975,000 for additional police patrols and 14 new positions to combat homelessness. The new roles would cost the city $1.7 million per year.

Edina is getting $6.7 million and City Manager Scott Neal is presenting his recommendations to the City Council for discussion next week.

  • Neal said the money will be focused on broadband infrastructure improvements.

Duluth, which is getting $58 million, is considering broadband investments, affordable housing, and childcare development, according to CBS 3.

Ramsey County told the Pioneer Press it will likely will use its $107 million to boost efforts to address the affordable housing shortages.

Of note: Another $377 million is flowing into Minnesota municipalities with fewer than 50,000 people.

Go deeper: Check out these lists for the breakdown of how much cities and counties are getting.

2 mins ago - World

Rich world’s pandemic selfishness won't be forgotten

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The failure of rich countries to share vaccines and financial assistance with poorer ones during the pandemic will exacerbate the rise in global poverty and could come back to bite them, Nobel Prize-winning economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee tell Axios.

Why it matters: Duflo initially believed the pandemic would produce a “more cooperative world order” as rich countries felt compelled to show solidarity with the developing world, potentially boding well for future collaboration on issues like climate change. Now she fears the opposite.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.