During a mark-up of the 2013 Farm Bill Wednesday night, the House Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved a provision based on Rep. Steve Southerland's Building Rural Communities Act. The Southerland language, which is now set to advance to the House floor for consideration as part of the overall Farm Bill, provides rural areas with the technical assistance and training necessary to efficiently develop community infrastructure projects, such as police and fire stations and community health clinics -- all at no additional cost to America's taxpayers.
"I am pleased the House Agriculture Committee has acted in strong bipartisan fashion on behalf of America's rural communities," Southerland said. "At a time when local residents are increasingly leaving rural areas for jobs and services in larger cities, it's more important than ever that our rural communities have the tools necessary to improve essential services in a smart, cost effective manner. This legislation is a win-win for North and Northwest Florida's rural communities because it enhances job creation, emergency preparedness, and public health and safety without spending one extra dime of taxpayer money."