COLUMBUS (WCHM) – Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said 1 million Ohioans need the state’s help connecting to the internet, with broadband access becoming an item that could be cut from the state budget during the next two weeks.

This week, the General Assembly is starting to work through the state’s budget with just two weeks until the June 30 deadline.

Husted voiced his concern Tuesday, saying the state needs to step in and bolster broadband services for those who either don’t have access or can’t afford access.

The Senate’s version of the budget stripped out hundreds of millions of dollars for broadband, adding a provision that would stop the state from competing against private internet companies.

The Senate argues there is no plan for the broadband money, but Husted said this is a critical time to ensure Ohioans are connected.

“You can’t participate in the modern economy, health care, education system without it, so to the extent that you want to do that, you have to have it,” Husted said.

The conference committee began meeting Tuesday on the budget.