Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

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The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Experts: Indiana Communities Can Benefit from Clean Power Grid

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Friday, February 3, 2023   

As the economy has changed with the pandemic in the past few years, Indiana's small communities have seen an exodus of jobs and people. However, experts say there's hope on the horizon in the form of community redevelopment through renewable energy.

According to the Clean Grid Alliance, Indiana already has the second-most clean-energy jobs in the Midwest because millions of dollars are being invested in wind and solar energy.

Connie Neininger, senior advisor for the Center for Infrastructure and Economic Development, said clean energy could be the answer to revitalizing a community.

"The rural area needs to find its niche, and that could be renewable energy, because more and more companies today are looking for renewable-energy sources," she said. "Especially globally, they're looking for communities that have renewable energy available."

Since 2021, Neininger said, clean-energy jobs in the Hoosier State are growing twice as fast as the overall economy. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide $6.9 billion over the next five years for road, bridge and redevelopment projects.

Neininger said economic development agreements can be a powerful incentive to recruit for renewable-energy businesses. She recommended hiring a qualified attorney or consultant to advise on issues such as financial incentives or tax-abatement agreements.

"When a renewable-energy project comes in and invests sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars into that community with its infrastructure," she said, "the actual equipment - that is adding to the county's assessed valuation."

Neininger warned that local officials need to be clear-eyed about which types of companies they recruit, making sure their community and the employer are a good fit.

"They may not have the workforce available," she said. "They may not have the infrastructure, whether it's water, wastewater or even power. And they may not have the transportation - the roadways, the access to interstate - as do a lot of the metropolitan areas."


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