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Panel signs off on plan to bolster rural Georgia

A legislative panel focused on the challenges facing rural Georgia has proposed a slate of changes meant to spark job growth and reverse population declines in the state’s beleaguered counties.A report, approved Wednesday by the House Rural Development Council, takes on such mammoth issues as rural health care and spotty broadband Internet service.   That document provides a framework for the initiatives that will be debated in the coming legislative session, which starts next month.Specific ideas include proposals such as creating a tax break for people who move to counties with a steady stream of residents leaving. It’s an incentive especially meant to attract high-wage professionals to rural communities.Or easing requirements in the state’s certificate of need program, which controls how many health care facilities can crop up in one area. That proposal is designed to give rural hospitals more flexibility to operate as small-scale “micro hospitals.”

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The Moultrie Observer