Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Georgia lawmakers create council to focus on rural issues and concerns

Georgia lawmakers have created a council that will concentrate specifically on rural issues and concerns, Maggie Lee reports for The Telegraph in Macon, Ga. The House Rural Development Council will consist of a a group of 15 lawmakers selected by Republican House Speaker David Ralston, from rural Blue Ridge, Ga. He told Lee, “I want this council to look at the big picture and recommend legislative actions that can empower our rural areas. I am not interested in government creating jobs. Rather, I want to create an environment in which private enterprise can create jobs in rural Georgia.”

Ralston in January called for a "rural-development initiative" in response to rural concerns, such as shuttered businesses, hospitals that have closed or are financially struggling, poor internet connections, young people migrating to cities and never coming back and schools that don't offer all the classes students need to get into the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech, Lee wrote in a previous story. Of the 80 rural hospitals that have closed since 2010, six are in Georgia. That places the state third behind Texas and Tennessee.

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