I. Since 2010, the State of Georgia has experienced tremendous job growth, adding more than 500,000 new private sector jobs;
2. Georgia's economic successes during this period have resulted from a favorable tax structure, regulatory environment, and aggressive economic development initiatives;
3. Georgia has been declared by several industry publications, including Site Selection Magazine, to be the best state m' the nation for business for the previous four years;
4. This economic success has not extended into all of Georgia's rural areas to a desired level;
5. As a result, Georgia's rural areas are faced with challenges distinct from other regions of this state, including loss of population, insufficient health care access, degraded or lacking infrastructure, diminished opportunity for quality education, scarcity of employment opportunities, overall lack of economic growth, and sometimes, lack of cultural amenities;
6. A thorough, intensive, and systematic study of the existing issues in Georgia's rural areas is necessary and appropriate; and
7. The objective of such study should be to identify policies and ideas to enhance economic opportunity across the entire state, particularly in rural areas.
“Georgia is a growing and prosperous state, and we are thankful for that, but that prosperity isn’t being felt in every community across Georgia. Some of our rural areas are still struggling, and we must do everything we can to help private businesses grow jobs in every comer of our state.” - Georgia House Speaker, David Ralston