UPDATE 6/29/2012 — Congress passed the transportation bill, including the Secure Rural School provisions, Friday, June 29. The bill awaits President Obama's signature.
Original Story — Congress is expected to vote Friday, June 29, on a bill that includes an extension of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. The extension moved one step closer to reauthorization Wednesday when House and Senate conference committee members reached a compromise on the nation’s transportation bill. The SRS extension is part of the transportation bill.
SRS helps to stabilize school districts and road departments in timber counties that have seen a precipitous decline in their shares of public land receipts as a result of decreased logging activity.
Both chambers of Congress must now accept the compromise report. They have until July 1, when the transportation bill expires.
The compromise contains Senate language that would extend SRS for one year, through fiscal year 2012, at 5 percent below 2011 funding levels.
The development is good news for Plumas County and Plumas Unified School District, each of which stands to receive about $1,755,000. The county is currently anticipating a $3 million hole in its general fund budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The language retains two other features of the original Secure Rural Schools act. Title II and Title III are pots of money that go to the Forest Service and to counties, respectively, for natural resource projects. Under the new formula, Plumas National Forest could receive $330,341 and Plumas County would get $289,049.
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