Think Tank Warns of Cuts to Rural Development

By KBJR News 1

Think Tank Warns of Cuts to Rural Development

June 17, 2013 Updated Jun 17, 2013 at 5:53 PM CDT

Cloquet, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- A Minnesota think tank is calling on Congress to preserve rural development dollars. Minnesota 20/20 researches and reports on issues regarding public policy.

The group's latest findings indicate that across the board federal spending cuts, also known as the sequester, could put rural areas in jeopardy.

They say rural development staff has been reduced by one-third from 2003 to 2013. Many Northland projects, like the renovation of Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet, have been funded by rural development dollars.

"A place where people can retire and access the health care that they need," said Lee Egerstrom with the think tank. "This is a living example of what we are gaining from USDA rural development programs."

Among the recommendations from 20/20, having state lawmakers counteract the federal cuts by increasing capital bonding in the 2014 legislative session.