I’m not saying that it’s wrong for a state to recommend its own applications, but it is unusual. Of the 13 “highly recommended” projects in the letter (available here in .pdf format from the Baller Herbst Law Group), 9 were submitted by state agencies, by univiersities, and by public libraries.
An additional 12 applications, including one from DigitalBridge, are on a list of “supported” projects.
The Executive Office of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Office of Administration) submitted four applications worth over $100 million. If accepted, those applications alone could use up most of the funds available for the state. I was surprised to see that two are highly recommended and one is on the supported list.
Muni-Link from CONXX is one from an ISP that I know that did not make the list.
Zito Media, a company I do not know, had one project on the highly recommended list and two on the supported list.
Overall, I think that the state’s task force should be commended for making some tough choices.