KINGSLAND — Georgia is considered the best state in the nation for business, with more than 750,000 new jobs added in the private sector since 2010.
But state officials acknowledge the aggressive economic development initiatives, a favorable tax structure and friendly regulatory environment have not generated economic success in many rural areas.
According to a Georgia House of Representatives resolution, economic struggles in rural areas have led to a “loss of population, a deficiency in access to health care, poor infrastructure, diminished quality of educational opportunity, scarcity of employment opportunities, and overall lack of economic growth.”
In response, a committee of 15 House of Representatives members who were appointed by the speaker of the house have been tasked with identifying policies and ideas to enhance economic opportunity across the state, particularly in rural areas.
The committee has traveled to different rural areas to conduct public meetings with local government officials, educators, health care providers, business leaders, civic groups and citizens. They will discuss ways to encourage economic growth.
The committee is scheduled to meet in Camden County next week for two days at the College of Coastal Georgia in Kingsland.
The public meetings will be held at noon to 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 29, and from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.
After the committee completes its meetings, members will make recommendations that could result in legislation designed to help improve the economy in rural areas. An initial report of findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, will be released no later than Dec. 31.