Wisconsin’s rural communities face a unique set of challenges. That’s why we’re tackling these issues head on with a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of rural communities across the state.
At the annual Governor’s Northern Economic Development Summit last month, I unveiled our rural agenda, a multi-point plan to bolster Wisconsin’s rural communities.
One of the top steps is to improve education for schools and students by creating incentives for teachers to teach in rural school districts and significantly increasing sparsity aid. These initiatives are in addition to our already historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 education.
Another area invests in public safety by removing barriers and creating incentives to protect the community by serving as an EMT or volunteer firefighter.
Another step improves rural access to medicine through programs focused on recruiting more medical personnel to work in and serve rural communities.
In addition, we expand broadband access to underserved areas of the state by providing over $35 million in funding for broadband expansion grants and TEACH grants aimed at supplying fast, reliable internet connections, particularly in rural communities.
We also look to support Wisconsin’s veterans by funding the continuation of the veteran outreach and recovery program after federal funding expires this year. We’re making sure our veterans receive the outreach and resources they need to be successful in reaching their goals.
We’ll also look to reallocate state resources to other parts of the state to improve the communications and accountability between government organizations and the constituents they serve. The Department of Natural Resources’ Forestry Division will move its headquarters from Madison to Rhinelander before the end of the year to better include and work with the forestry industry and northern forestry officials.
Plus, we’ll find ways to help continue to improve farming in the state of Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, which is great not just for dairy products, but for all sorts of products grown here. We’re making it easier for our farming families to prosper.
Check out Walker.WI.Gov for more details on our rural agenda.
Indeed, we are working and winning for Wisconsin.