How to Use this Site

This document is intended to help you, the reader, understand some of your options for advancing state-level policy that could improve the lives of people living and working in rural communities. The ideas included are not exhaustive and are provided as examples for inspiration. The devil can be in the details with policy, and it is always recommended to work with local advocates who have a strong understanding of the nuances of a given state’s laws.

It is also important to note that legislation is not the only avenue for change. As a policymaker, you may be able to address some of your community’s issues through other means, including appropriations and regulatory change. Directing new or expanded funding to an area of need or working with state agencies to write or enforce regulations or to clarify complicated language can have transformative impacts. While this document focuses primarily on legislation, we have included several examples of this kind; these alternative avenues are useful to keep in mind.

Additionally, some of these policies could be enacted at the local or county level, and advocates may want to incorporate some of these ideas into campaigns.

The document is divided broadly into four focus areas. Each focus area includes discussion of several issue areas, with explanation and analysis, policy priorities, and examples of introduced or enacted policy from various states for each, as seen below.

Focus Areas

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