LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to see a number of priorities that would support rural America, namely infrastructure and rural broadband improvements, in President Joe Biden’s first budget proposal, released today.
“Improving the nation’s infrastructure will facilitate rural economic growth,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs. “Our roads, bridges and waterways have been overlooked for too long, putting farms and businesses at a disadvantage.”
Hladik noted the proposed improvements for high-speed broadband are long overdue and will help put rural communities on a level playing field in a 21st century economy.
The Center is also glad to see a focus on addressing climate, and remains supportive of actions that facilitate smart practices on farms and in rural communities through working lands conservation and assistance with clean energy production.
Sharing his thoughts on the proposed funding levels for specific programs, Hladik said while several of the Center’s 2022 appropriations priorities, such as the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, are supported in the President’s proposal, the opportunity for these programs to have an outsized positive impact for rural communities should not be overlooked.
“The President missed an opportunity to enhance support for rural entrepreneurs. These small businesses provide valuable support to rural economies and communities,” he said. “Routinely overlooked in stimulus legislation, even a small increase for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program could pay substantial dividends for rural entrepreneurs nationwide.”