Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston) praised initiatives outlined by Governor Bill Lee in his State of the State / Budget Address Monday. Yager said $35 million in funding for new rural initiatives will be a tremendous help to many counties across the state.
“This will give struggling counties in Tennessee a boost in several different areas where help is badly needed,” Yager said. “This includes the Rural Opportunity Fund, the Rural Agricultural Development Grants and the Office of Rural Initiatives.”
Included in Lee’s Rural Initiatives package is $20 million to expand broadband, which is crucial as the region looks to recruit high-quality jobs to struggling communities. In addition, he proposed to continue funding for the Rural Hospital Transformation Act, added to the budget last year to help struggling rural hospitals develop business plans to ensure their viability and to continue to provided needed healthcare services.