Under Republican leadership, our state weathered the Great Recession and emerged stronger than ever. In fact, we are the #1 state for business – 5 years in a row. Unfortunately, there are still parts of our state, primarily in rural Georgia, that are struggling to grow and prosper.
During Week Six (Legislative Days 19-22), the Georgia General Assembly considered and passed several pieces of legislation to strengthen rural Georgia.
Expanding Rural Broadband
HB 887 – The Georgia Communications Services Act – proposes to give communities the ability to upgrade their broadband infrastructure by updating right of way policy. This legislation also would create new programs for which private sector businesses can compete for broadband development grants.
With 25% of rural Georgia residents lacking access to High Speed Internet, this legislation is a huge first-step towards bridging the “digital divide” in our state. With many details to be worked out, I am optimistic that we can help reenergize the small towns of Georgia. These communities are the crucible for maintaining and building the values that made America. They are worth the fight to protect them.
Expanding Access to Healthcare
Rural Georgia residents also have limited access to quality healthcare. Often times, these hardworking Georgians have to drive long distances to visit a hospital or see a specialist.
HB 769, which passed this week, creates the Rural Center for Health Care Innovation and Sustainability, clears the way for micro-hospitals, and incentivizes medical providers to practice in rural, underserved communities.
Georgia’s Farmers at the Capitol
This week, we were honored to host Georgia Farm Bureau Day at the Capitol. The men and women of this organization keep Georgia’s oldest and largest industry growing.
To ensure a bright future for rural communities – and our state as a whole – we must continue to support our growers, agri-businesses, and family farms.
Trauma Awareness Day
During Trauma Awareness Day, surgeons and medical professionals stopped by the State Capitol to educate lawmakers and the general public on how to respond to traumatic injuries. The “Stop the Bleed” campaign is incredibly vital – especially in communities without a nearby hospital.
On Thursday, I was honored to be joined by Dr. Hugo Scornik of Monroe who practices as a Pediatrician. I appreciate Dr. Scornik’s commitment to medicine and serving those in our region!