Congressman Denver Riggleman Secures Funding for Rural Broadband Development and to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

June 20, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. - Two amendments sponsored by Congressman Denver Riggleman passed the House unanimously this afternoon. Both amendments passed with bipartisan support and were cosponsored by Rep. David Trone (D-MD).  The first would expand broadband access for rural communities that are underserved by private investment.  The second would increase funding to combat the opioid epidemic in rural communities.  Congressman Riggleman spoke on the House floor in support of both amendments today.

"Our rural communities, including some in my district, need access to broadband to keep up with the demands of the modern economy," said Congressman Riggleman.  "This amendment will help communities close the digital divide which is critical to enhancing economic opportunity, job creation, access to healthcare, and education in rural America."

Amendment 119 gives $5 million for Community Connect Grants.  These grants help fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.

Amendment 120 provides a $1 million increase for funding to the Rural Health and Safety Education Program to combat the opioid epidemic in rural communities.  

"Rep. Trone and myself, and too many others in this body and our country at large have seen friends and family members suffer and even pass away from the opioid crisis that has ravaged our country," said Congressman Riggleman.  Just last week I lost my cousin to a heroin overdose.  This funding is an essential step to turn the crisis around."

These amendments are big wins for the 5th district.  Congressman Riggleman promised to work on expanding broadband internet access and combating the opioid epidemic during his campaign.  These amendments are an instance of Congressman Riggleman fulfilling his promises to his constituents.

You can watch Congressman Riggleman's speech here, and a full transcript of the speech can be found below.

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Thank you, to my dear friend from Maryland Representative Trone, with whom I have developed a bi-partisan partnership that has resulted in these two amendments.  

The first increases funding for Community Connect Grants to expand broadband deployment into rural communities that are underserved by private sector investment.

Our rural communities, including some in my district, need access to broadband to keep up with the demands of the modern economy.  This amendment will help communities close the digital divide which is critical to enhancing economic opportunity, job creation, access to healthcare, and education in rural America. 

The next amendment, dear to my heart, increases funding for Rural Health and Safety Education Program to combat the opioid epidemic in rural communities.  

Rep. Trone and myself, and too many others in this body and our country at large have seen friends and family members suffer and even pass away from the opioid crisis that has ravaged our country.  Just last week I lost my cousin to a heroin overdose.  This funding is an essential step to turn the crisis around.

I urge my colleagues to support these two amendments.


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