Programming Note: There will be no Fresh Air this evening. Instead, we will air the "Reveal" documentary, including a story on the path heroin takes.
Survey: Rural Residents Feel Ignored By Washington
A new poll shows a majority of the country’s rural residents feel they’re being ignored by the federal government.
The study comes in the wake of the second defeat in two years, of a Farm Bill, by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was commissioned by the Center for Rural Affairs.
Director Chuck Hassebrook said rural residents strongly believe their way of life is worth fighting for, but that Washington, D.C. is not paying attention. Despite its wide-open spaces, Arizona is the 10th most-urbanized state in the country, with just more more than 10 percent of its residents living in rural areas.
Hassebrook said the poll makes an important statement about rural values, in Arizona, and across the U.S.
"We surveyed 800 people across close to 20 states, so it's a good-sized sample and, I think, important findings that inform the entire nation about what rural people have to say about what's important to their communities," Hassebrook said.
Three-quarters of those polled say they support tax credits and investment in new transmission lines, to encourage development of wind, solar and other renewable power generation in rural areas, and 80 percent support grants and loans to small towns to upgrade water and sewer systems and invest in roads and bridges.