U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that his department has invested $9 million in four high-speed broadband infrastructure projects for Tennessee.
Perdue said as much in a press release this week.
In addition, he said these projects will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for 3,744 rural households, 31 businesses, 41 farms, and a critical community facility in the Volunteer State.
U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) weighed in on the matter in the press release.
“Access to high-speed broadband is a vital piece of the puzzle for rural businesses and households across Tennessee, and I am deeply grateful for Secretary Perdue’s commitment to ensuring rural Tennesseans have the modern infrastructure needed to thrive in today’s connected world,” the press release quoted Green as saying.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. Their assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
Green recently introduced the Rural ER Access Act, to eliminate the 35-mile rule on emergency rooms and permit them to operate in the rural communities that need them the most. This legislation builds on the bipartisan Rural Health Care Access Act, introduced by Rep. Green last year.
“Over the past decade more than 100 rural hospitals have been forced to close their doors, including 12 hospitals in Tennessee. These communities are now left without access to health care, in general, let alone emergency care. Many rural hospitals across the nation continue to face significant financial difficulties. As this crisis continues at a growing rate, current federal regulations stand in the way, only allowing a freestanding emergency department within 35 miles of a hospital,” Green said.
“My bill, the Rural ER Access Act, would repeal this ridiculous 35 mile rule and permit freestanding emergency departments to operate in rural communities that need them the most. As an emergency medicine physician, I believe that we should and can make sure that rural Americans are not left without access to emergency care because of some unnecessary bureaucratic regulation.”
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