Oregon's congressional delegation is hoping to secure a two-year extension of timber payments to rural counties. The Secure Rural Schools provision is tucked in a bill the U.S. House is voting on this week.
The Secure Rural Schools Act provides payments to timber-dependent counties in Oregon, Idaho and most other states. Last year, rural Idaho counties received $28 million from the program. Without reauthorization, it’ll receive $2 million.
Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio says this bill helps counties while lawmakers try to find a long term solution to funding shortfalls.
"It answers the question of whether or not they can provide law enforcement, jails, county health and for many rural school districts this is an absolutely critical funding," DeFazio says.
The county funding extension is part of the "Doc Fix" bill which the House is expected to vote on this week.
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