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Iowa candidates field questions on water, health care, immigration, and more

Water quality and Medicaid were a few of the most talked about issues at a candidate forum recently held by the Center for Rural Affairs and the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County. Voters were given the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum setting in Nevada, Iowa.

Candidates for the election of Iowa state Senate District 25, Chad Buss, of Parkersburg, and Annette Sweeney, of Alden, answered questions from district residents. Issues were raised such as farm conservation, clean energy, health care, clean water, and local infrastructure.

Farm bill for rural America

The farm bill debate is underway. The Center’s farm bill priorities, released in November 2017, continue our work of addressing the real needs of rural communities: supporting family farms, preserving natural resources for our children and grandchildren, creating opportunity for the next generation of beginning farmers, and fostering rural economic opportunity.

Staff spotlight: Laurie has big goals and high hopes for new position

Since 1990, the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), has provided services to micro businesses throughout Nebraska. Because of financial assistance, and/or training provided through REAP, countless small businesses have grown and thrived, and just as many eager entrepreneurs have seen their dreams come true by opening their own businesses.

To lead a program which offers that much opportunity and gives so many people hope is a giant undertaking, but it’s one that Laurie Donnell is excited to begin.

Petition drive underway to expand Medicaid

Nebraska is seeking to join 32 other states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid. A petition drive is underway to pose the question to voters in the November general election.

The Midwest state is following Maine’s lead. In November 2017, Maine was the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot box, passing with 59 percent approval. The circumstances surrounding Maine’s referendum mirror concerns in Nebraska with similar rural and aging populations and ardent opposition to expansion from the executive branch.

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