FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 14, 2017
Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831
Rep. Tusler and Rural Wisconsin Initiative Unveil Broadband Bill
Group Promotes Education, Workforce Development, Healthcare Priorities
Madison, WI – Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) and the Rural Wisconsin Initiative unveiled legislation at a press conference today to expand broadband access and the Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) program in rural Wisconsin.
“This broadband expansion will help students get schoolwork done at home and rural businesses promote their products and services,” said Rep. Tusler.
The proposal allocates $15.5 million to the Rural Broadband Expansion Grant Program in 2017 and removes caps on the total annual value of grants that may be distributed. The TEACH Program, which provides funding for teachers to learn about incorporating technology in the classroom, would see an additional $7.5 million and expand eligibility for these grants to schools with sixteen pupils per mile and fewer than 2,500 members.
The group applauded the Governor’s proposed allocation of $200,000 to the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program. The program incentivizes doctors to practice in rural areas of the state.
Rep. Tusler also discussed why he joined the RWI. “Our rural areas have patiently waited for the government’s focus while other problems were solved. It is their turn to get our attention,” said Rep. Tusler. “That’s why I really wanted to join right off the bat and get involved, because I think there’s a great need for it and I think the legislators around me are focused on meeting that need.”
The RWI was formed last session by Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake) and Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg). There are now twenty-five Assembly legislators who have joined the group.
For more information on the proposals and the supporters of the RWI, please visit www.RuralWisconsinInitiative.com or follow @RuralWIForward on Twitter. Video of today’s RWI press conference can be found on the Rural Wisconsin Initiative Facebook page.