Amy McGrath announces ‘Partnering with Rural Kentucky’ plan during stop in Martin County

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Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - With the election just eight weeks away, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath has been touring Eastern Kentucky. One of her stops Tuesday was at Rockin' Appalachian Mom Project or RAMP in Martin County.

While in Martin County, McGrath released her 'Partnering with Rural Kentucky plan.

“Where are we at? We can’t get basic stuff done. Where are the jobs? Where’s the water? Where’s the broadband? Where are the things for the future? That’s what I hear from people," said McGrath.

The plan has five pillars. The first is helping families. This includes building not just 20th century infrastructure such as roads and water systems, but also 21st century infrastructure such as broadband and cell phone service.

“We have 50 percent of this county that does not have access to the internet and broadband. We have 50 percent of our kids and in many counties around here it’s 30 to 50 percent who do not have access to the internet," said McGrath.

BarbiAnn Maynard, a water and infrastructure advocate who lives in the county said the county has not had clean drinking water in 20 years.

“We are in the top 50 poorest counties in the nation so we can’t dig ourselves out of this hole, we need grants, we need our government to step in and help us," said Maynard.

“We don’t have water here. This is the United States of America. I’ve been all around the world. I’ve been to Afghanistan, you know Kyrgyzstan, all the stan’s most of the stan’s. I’ve been all around the world and we don’t have the infrastructure here to take care of our own people. Water, seriously? What are we doing? We are we investing in? I tell you what I want to invest in, us.” said McGrath

The second pillar of McGrath’s plan is helping coal miners. McGrath is pushing to pass the RECLAIM Act which would clean up abandoned coal mines.

“Again it would revitalize this area $100 million for eastern Kentucky," said McGrath.

Third, the plan aims to protect and improve rural health care. McGrath tells WYMT she wants to improve the Affordable Care Act.

“We have to shore up the Affordable Car act. It was not a perfect piece of legislation but it did rural Kentucky a lot of good and so let’s make it better. Let’s protect people with preexisting conditions, let’s expand health care to have a public option, one that would be subsidized in the middle of a pandemic for anyone who had been thrown off of their health care," said McGrath.

The fourth pillar is helping small businesses and fifth is helping farmers. McGrath says she wants to support the hemp industry and legalize medical marijuana.

“We need this for veterans. We need this for people with PTSD. We need this here in Eastern Kentucky to help people people who need it for medical reasons and it could help Kentucky farmers as well," said McGrath.

To read more about her plan you can click here.

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