FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 February 23, 2017

Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831

Rural Wisconsin Initiative Receives National Media Attention

Outlets From San Francisco to Miami Turn Their Eyes to Rural Wisconsin

Madison, WI – The Rural Wisconsin Initiative unveiled plans to expand broadband access in rural Wisconsin last Tuesday at a press conference that has received national attention.

Media outlets from the SFGate in California to the Miami Herald in Florida highlighted Wisconsin lawmakers’ efforts to publicize rural issues.

During the press conference, Republican Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), a member of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, expressed why he joined the group and what he thinks people in rural Wisconsin are seeking. “It's high time that our rural areas and our small towns had our attention," said Rep. Tusler. Rural Wisconsinites "are waiting without rioting, without yelling in somebody's ear. They're waiting patiently for us to focus on the issues that they have."

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 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 in the Rural Wisconsin Initiative.

For more information on the proposals and the supporters of the RWI, please visit www.RuralWisconsinInitiative.com or follow @RuralWIForward on Twitter. Video of the February 14, 2017 RWI press conference can be found on the Rural Wisconsin Initiative Facebook page.

A list of media stations that have carried the story is attached.

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