Many Democratic campaigns are championing rural infrastructure and telecommunications with specific budget and policy proposals. And many are "calling for aggressive changes in the health-care sector to address a crisis in rural health care facilities and availability. Most of them support agricultural reforms and conservation programs that would decrease greenhouse gas emissions," Oates writes.
Eight of the Democratic candidates have released comprehensive rural policy plans, as noted in the Yonder's running policy tracker. A few proposals stick out from the pack for "innovation and scope," Oates writes:
- ARPA-Ag, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed research and development initiative to encourage more environmentally friendly agriculture practices and share results of innovation.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan to increase rural broadband by allowing public-sector internet providers such as local governments, Native American tribes, rural electric cooperatives and rural telephone cooperatives to compete with private companies.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Rural Future Partnership Fund, $50 billion in public financing for multi-year, flexible block grants to local communities for rural revitalization projects.
- Sen. Cory Booker's proposed expansion of the Renewable Energy for America Program, which provides grants and loans to farmers and small rural business owners for installing and operating renewable energy systems.