Chief among the issues facing the General Assembly next year, said Sen. Chuck Edwards, would be balancing the state’s next budget to reflect pandemic-driven downturns in revenue. He estimated that the shortfall compared to current spending levels could be as much as $8 billion.
“Often we can reach folks better through technology than we can face to face,” says Shane Lunsford of the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness. As telehealth service offerings and technological capabilities expand, providers around the region are excited about the possibilities of new models of seeing patients and providing care.
Like 40 percent of rural U.S. households, many Sandy Mush residents in northwest Buncombe County can’t get Internet service that meets the Federal Communications Commission’s current definition of broadband.
Legislation that would have limited local governments’ ability to build and operate their own municipal broadband networks was finally defeated before the General Assembly adjourned for the year.