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Shuster bill to stimulate Rural Economies

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Penn.) today announced that he has introduced legislation to boost investment into rural communities and to create partnerships between businesses and the federal government to stimulate the economy and create jobs. In addition, Congressman Shuster’s bill, entitled the Rural Development Act of 2002, includes a grant program to help enhance the quality of education in rural areas and an initiative to bring doctors and medical professionals to rural communities.
Specifically, H.R. 5579 establishes a rural investment tax credit of up to 50%, over a 10-year period, to businesses that move into rural areas and either occupy an existing facility or construct a new building. In addition to stimulating rural economies, Congressman Shuster’s legislation directs the Secretary of Education to create a grant structure for rural schools to enhance technology, teacher preparation programs and innovative enrichment programs for children at risk of failure with a particular emphasis on math, science, history and English.
The legislation also establishes a scholarship program that provides scholarship of up to 50% of tuition for individuals pursuing a medical or nursing education in exchange for their service in underserved rural areas for a period of no less than four years.
“Our rural communities are the very heart of our nation and are an essential aspect of our economy. It is our small towns that define the values and identity of America. We, however, are at risk of losing them and we have to reach out to rural communities to help once again stimulate the economy and ensure that our rural towns have first class schools and access to quality medical care,” said Shuster.
Congressman Shuster added that his bill targets the specific problems faced by rural schools. “Rural schools face many unique challenges and often are
forced to forgo federal funds because they do not have the financial resources or poverty data needed to qualify. This legislation recognizes those challenges and sets funds aside specifically for rural areas and help them continue to offer quality education to our nation’s youth,” said Shuster.
In addition, Congressman Shuster noted that rural communities have suffered greatly because of the nursing shortage across the country. “Rural residents have been especially hard hit by the nursing shortage that is plaguing America. Nearly one quarter of our nation’s population lives in rural areas, yet almost all of the hospitals and healthcare facilities located in these communities are, to no fault of their own, chronically understaffed. To help combat this problem my bill offers education incentives to nurses and doctors to serve in rural areas,” said Shuster.