51°F
weather icon Clear

Proposed legislation could benefit rural Nevada

Updated August 31, 2018 - 7:00 am

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is planning to introduce bipartisan legislation with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would benefit rural communities in Nevada and across the country.

The legislation, which is to be introduced on Tuesday, would create a standing “Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development.”

According to a news release from Cortez Masto’s office, the council would “work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to streamline the work of agencies and programs specifically designed to support rural communities.”

“We must focus on better addressing the unique challenges and needs of rural communities,” said Cortez Masto in a news release. “This bill will create a council that will look out for the best interests of Nevadans who live in rural areas and ensures that we are doing our best to provide geographically isolated communities with the resources and innovative technologies they need to thrive.”

Portman is also keen on ensuring rural communities have the tools needed for prosperity.

“We must work to ensure that rural communities in Ohio and across the country have the resources and technology needed for economic development and job growth,” said Portman in the release. “I am pleased to work with Senator Cortez Masto on this legislation to support access to broadband and identify ways in which technology can be used to solve challenges faced by our rural communities.”

Portman added that “as the internet continues to transform business in the 21st century, we must be sure that farmers and businesses in Ohio and across the country have the resources, such as access to broadband, so they can continue to compete around the world.”

Overall, the legislation works to promote innovation, technological solutions and economic development in Nevada’s rural communities and in similar communities across the country.

According to a release from Senator Cortez Masto’s office, the bill would require a report on “Rural Smart Communities.” This report would describe the “efforts of rural areas to integrate smart technology into their communities to solve local challenges relating to energy, transportation, health care, law enforcement and housing.”

The proposed legislation also calls for the distribution of a guide to existing federal and non-federal programs available to rural communities that could help rural areas in adopting “smart community practices, strategies and technologies,” according to a news release.

The proposed bill would also initiate a review to see if a public benefit exists “for the creation of rural smart community demonstration project programs, potentially a step to take in the future to help rural communities address these challenges,” according to the release.

The legislation also creates a subcommittee within the council that helps to identify and address any regulatory barriers that could block the deployment of rural broadband.

On top of that, the proposed bill also codifies a federal interagency Rural Council, which will permanently create “a mechanism for all relevant federal agencies with rural programmatic assets to communicate and share expertise and resources,” the release stated.

Legislation that could enact the Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development passed as an amendment in the Senate earlier this year in the farm bill, which is still being negotiated in Congress.

“Cortez Masto has introduced the legislation as a stand-alone bill to demonstrate its bipartisan support as well as to highlight her commitment to its inclusion in the final farm bill currently being negotiated in conference between the House and the Senate,” said a spokesman in an email.

The senator is hoping that the council will remain part of the final farm bill in Congress.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nevada Highway Patrol receives $100k public safety grant

By putting in additional efforts to combat drunk and distracted drivers along Silver State roadways, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol Division has received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety for targeted DUI enforcement campaigns during the coming year.

Fire restrictions lifted at Humboldt-Toiyabe

The ban and other restrictions, which previously applied only to federal lands such as the Humbldt-Toiyabe National Forest, have been expanded to all public lands in Nevada.

FDA pushes for reduction in salt in packaged foods, restaurants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released guidance on Wednesday in an effort to reduce the amount of salt in food products at restaurants, school cafeterias and packaged and prepared foods. Food makers, however, are not obligated to take action in the voluntary guidance.

Social Security benefits to rise 5.9% in 2022

The Social Security Administration announced a cost-of-living raise of 5.9% starting in 2022, the largest annual increase in 40 years. The rise, however, comes in the face of other increases in food, shelter and other goods.

Solar project discussion riles Pahrump citizens

The Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Committee had what may very well have been the biggest turnout the advisory body has ever seen before during its Tuesday, Oct. 12 meeting.

Pumpkin Days returns to Pahrump next weekend

Fall is in the air and for the town of Pahrump, that means it’s almost time for Pumpkin Days.

Adam Laxalt stumps in Pahrump

U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt made a stop in the valley last week, spending some time at local eatery Mom’s Diner to speak with area residents as he ramps up his campaign for the 2022 election.

Pahrump local’s Kids Costume Car Wash a success

Pahrump resident Shauna “Shay” Dragna and her three youngsters, Cayleigh, Caden and Conner, have spent the last month focusing on their very first public philanthropy project and though they entered into the endeavor without any previous experience and absolutely no idea how it might turn out, the results of their efforts are bearing some very positive fruit.

 
Cegavske won’t allow tax petitions off 2022 ballot

Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has told Attorney General Aaron Ford in a letter the state constitution doesn’t allow for petitions to be withdrawn.