Recent flood damage to upstate New York highlights the needs of rural communities across the nation, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday as she introduced a slate of bills.

“For many parts of our state, this economic difficulty is just the latest in a string of years if not decades that have been very difficult on families and businesses,” she told reporters in a phone conference Tuesday.

One element of her agenda is the Rural Access to Credit Act, which would loosen rules for federal lending programs designed to aid farmers and rural small businesses. Another bill would speed the expansion of wireless broadband to rural regions by creating a federal “one-stop shop” for states and localities seeking to boost connectivity, and requiring the Department of Agriculture to streamline and expedite grant and loan programs.