skip to main content

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Florida faces lawsuits over its new election law, a medical board fines an Indiana doctor for speaking about a 10-year-old's abortion, and Minnesota advocates say threats to cut SNAP funds are off the mark.

play newscast audioPlay

The White House and Speaker McCarthy gain support to pass their debt ceiling agreement, former President Donald Trump retakes the lead in a new GOP primary poll, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached.

play newscast audioPlay

The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

MD Legislature Considers Broadband Expansion

play audio
Play

Monday, February 27, 2023   

The Maryland Legislature is looking at ways to expand broadband access in the state and advocates are weighing in.

Gov. Wes Moore's broadband expansion package would create tax incentives for broadband companies to expand into underserved areas. The package of bills includes a state tax reduction for companies receiving federal grants for broadband deployment, as well as an exemption on sales and use taxes on purchases of broadband equipment for everything from modems to larger-scale infrastructure components.

Tammy Bresnahan, director of advocacy for AARP Maryland, said the bills are trying to promote broadband expansion in both rural and urban areas.

"Broadband, like water, like electric, has now become a vital utility for people to have," Bresnahan asserted. "If schools are closed, for some reason, people have to have access for their children and grandchildren, telehealth services. Also, it keeps people from being isolated."

She also noted broadband has enabled citizen advocates to offer remote testimony to the Maryland General Assembly as it conducts committee meetings via a virtual hybrid model.

A large part of the impact of broadband on seniors during COVID and after was access to remote doctor visits via telehealth. Bresnahan pointed out in the current session, AARP is also advocating for the extension of telehealth services.

"One of the other bills that we're working on is extending telehealth through 2025," Bresnahan explained. "It's due to expire this year. The telehealth provision allowing Medicaid and private insurers to pay for telehealth services. So there's a bill in to expand that."

The Legislature is in session through April 10.

Disclosure: AARP Maryland contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Florida's newest elections law requires that third-party voter registration groups provide mandatory formal signature-matching training to specified persons by the Florida Secretary of State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

The moment Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, several voter-advocacy groups filed lawsuits against it…


Health and Wellness

play sound

An Indiana licensing board has fined a local physician $3,000 and handed her a letter of reprimand after she went public about a 10-year-old Ohio pati…

Social Issues

play sound

Groups fighting for children's health are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers to require insurance companies to cover hearing aids and related …


There used to be twice as many marshes and wetlands in Pennsylvania as there are today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Christina Saymansky/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

From conservation to sportsmen's groups, the U.S. Supreme Court is getting plenty of backlash over its most recent ruling, which weakens federal …

Social Issues

play sound

Rural development leaders say getting healthy, locally grown food to underserved areas is a challenge in states like North Dakota. They hope a new …

More than 60% of rural counties lack a psychiatrist, and almost half do not have a psychologist, compared with 27% and 19% of urban counties, respectively. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new report spotlights some of the challenges to accessing behavioral health care for the one in seven Americans who live in rural areas. Kendall …

Social Issues

play sound

On Wednesday, Xcel Energy customers will have a chance to tell the Colorado Public Utilities Commission what they think about the company's request - …

Environment

play sound

The "Idaho Stop" measure for bicyclists is spreading to other states. Minnesota is the latest to adopt the so-called Idaho Stop, in which cyclists …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021