Rep. Marshall Addresses House Floor on the importance of Infrastructure Investments
WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Marshall, M.D. wasted no time to address the House floor following his infrastructure roundtable in Hutchinson Kansas. In his speech, he stressed the importance of improving our rural areas with competitive and reliable infrastructure.
The 2018 funding package delivered $21 billion to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and specifically designated dollars for rural America.
“While back in Kansas I had the opportunity to sit down with a number of industry and community leaders from across the state to discuss how these investments will benefit our schools, businesses, and farmers,” Rep. Marshall said on the House floor Tuesday.
Dr. Marshall hosted a roundtable with leaders from a variety of industries to discuss the current infrastructure needs for the Big First. Representatives from general contracting, agriculture, cooperative, and utility industries shared insights of where they would like to see federal dollars invested in Kansas.
“Rail, road, and waterway infrastructure improvements are key components to keeping the Kansas agribusiness economy going both locally and globally,” said Ron Seeber, President, and CEO of Kansas Grain and Feed Association.
Investments in water infrastructure and inland waterways will benefit the agriculture industry, allowing easier movement of commodities to the Gulf of Mexico for eventual export as well as dollars to rebuild roads, bridges and other municipal infrastructure. Greg Krissek, CEO of Kansas Corn, said being able to move corn and other commodities to market are essential to the success of Kansas agriculture.
President of Venture Corporation, Kip Spray from Great Bend, Kan. stressed the importance of the TIGER grant program that prioritizes access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation in rural areas.
Leslie Kaufman with the Kansas Electric Cooperation discussed the impact additional funding for the Rural Utility Service Program will have on cooperatives’ ability to update and expand equipment and services. The Rural Utility Program invests in reliable and affordable water and wastewater systems, broadband access, and cost-effective electric systems.
Rice County farmer Matt Splitter, who is also on the Kansas Corn Board of Directors, also emphasized the need for farmers to have reliable broadband throughout their farms to keep equipment operating and employees connected.
“We truly appreciate Congressman Marshall’s focus on economic vitality and quality of life in Kansas,” said Bruce Graham, Chief Executive Officer for the Kansas Electric Cooperatives.
Brian Boisvert, CEO and General Manager of Wilson Communication in Wilson, Kan., praised the increased funding for rural broadband and continued efforts to bring broadband to all Americans, “Rural Kansans need and deserve robust broadband comparable in both quality and price to that available in urban areas,” Boisvert said. “Continued investment in broadband fiber infrastructure for rural areas is critical.”