Gov. Polis announces plan to develop rural economy in rural Colorado | Best States

Gov. Jared Polis on Saturday released a plan outlining how his administration will tackle economic challenges in rural Colorado.

The Democratic governor’s “rural economic plan” focuses on expanding the economies and broadband infrastructure of rural communities, in addition to tackling high health care costs and repairing roads and bridges, according to one. Press release issued by his office.

“We are delighted to unveil our Rural Economic Plan, which we believe will lead to greater prosperity across our state, from the Eastern Plains to Southern Colorado to the Western Slope,” Polis said in the press release. “With true collaboration between rural communities and the state, we can truly build a Colorado for everyone.”

The Polis office created the plan based on 10 months of discussions with partners and stakeholders, including 155 awareness meetings and listening sessions.

According to the master plan, the Colorado Department of Agriculture plans to increase the annual value of the state’s agricultural production from $ 134 million in sales to $ 150 million in sales this year. The document explains how the state found ways to make its agricultural products competitive, such as expanding cooperatives to raise wages, investing in training young farmers and creating a scale initiative. state for hemp research, production and testing.

Colorado is home to more than 38,900 farms and ranches, which contribute $ 40 billion to the state’s economy, according to the plan.

In terms of health care, the report says that a public health insurance option would reduce costs in rural communities, some of which have only one insurance company.

According to the report, the state’s Broadband Deployment Board, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, has committed $ 5 million per year over the next five years to increase broadband access in every rural household. Currently, 86% of rural Colorado households have access to the Internet.

“Our rural communities are part of our economic engine,” Betsy Markey, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said in the press release. “This plan draws on Colorado’s successful rural economic development programs and encourages innovative practices that work.”

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