Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement touting her bipartisan amendment with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) included in the Senate Farm Bill that creates a permanent interagency rural council that will protect the best interests of rural communities and applauded the bill’s inclusion of provisions that strengthen conservation efforts across the country.
“I’m proud to work with my colleagues on a Senate Farm Bill that includes several provisions that will promote economic growth, strengthen conservation efforts, protect anti-poverty hunger programs, and support several tribal economic and cultural initiatives in the state,” said Cortez Masto. “My bipartisan amendment creates a permanent interagency rural council that ensures the needs of rural communities in Nevada, and throughout America, are heard. The council will encourage better coordination between federal agencies and departments to maximize their impact. My amendment will also encourage smart growth and the innovative use of technology in rural areas to solve local challenges.”
Cortez Masto’s amendment to create a standing “Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development” would:
- Create a Standing Interagency council to address rural issues: Creates a permanent mechanism for all relevant federal agencies with rural programmatic assets to communicate and share expertise and resources.
- Require a report on “Rural Smart Communities”: A year after its creation, the Council shall submit a report describing efforts of rural areas to integrate “smart” innovative technology into their communities to solve local challenges relating to energy, transportation, health care, law enforcement, housing, and a host of additional issues.
- Distribute a Smart Community Resource Guide: This resource guide should be a compilation of existing Federal and non-Federal programs available to rural communities that could aid them in adopting smart community practices, strategies, and technologies.
- Create a Rural Broadband Sub-Committee within the Council: To identify and address regulatory barriers that may impede rural broadband deployment throughout the federal government.
To learn more about Cortez Masto’s Senate Farm Bill priorities, click HERE.