Washington meeting: South Dakota legislators talk rural development
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A group of South Dakota representatives are in Washington D.C. this week to meet with federal leaders. They made the trip along with other Midwest legislators to discuss developments in rural communities.
The focus is on two bills-- the Inflation Reduction Act which passed last year, and the bi-partisan infrastructure bill passed in 2021.
“There are so many more opportunities from the bipartisan infrastructure act as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, that are going to improve the lives of people in South Dakota,” Sen. Reynold Nesbiba said.
As part of those acts, there is federal spending that can be used on rural communities.
”We have so much money to invest in South Dakota. Those are federal dollars that we have paid into the system and we want to put them to good use and make sure that South Dakotans are reaping the benefit of the overall collective impact,” Rep. Kameron Nelson said.
One of the key development discussions involved increases in broadband accessibility.
“That’s just going to level the playing field for our rural families, education, telemedicine. It’s going to make life better for every single South Dakotan,” Rep. Kaydn Whittman said.
“That’s much needed on the reservation. I think sometimes were forgotten in that avenue. Especially with education and healthcare. Two of the things that are most important to us. To see that President Biden has prioritized those two areas is really heartening to see,” Rep. Eric Emergy said.
They also focused on a concerted effort of sustainability.
“Really focused also on how we can become more self-sustainable from a food perspective in our rural communities. The meetings were very helpful and we’re going to have some resources that we can tap into,” Rep. Linda Duba said.
They also discussed infrastructure across the state.
“We are doing revolutionary change to our roads and our bridges in our state as well as when we look at airports across even our small rural communities,” Duba said.
“When the federal government chooses to invest in South Dakota, they’re choosing to invest in Americans, and making Americans’ lives better,” Whittman said.
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