DeFazio pushes for Secure Rural Schools
Fifty-one U.S. representatives signed a bipartisan letter to House leadership urging Congress to reauthorize full funding for the Secure Rural Schools program for this fiscal year.
Rep. Peter DeFazio led the effort to reinstate the program, which has provided critical funding for basic services from sheriff's patrols to the library in Douglas County.
The Secure Rural Schools program was created to help timber-dependent counties after changes in federal timber policy dramatically reduced timber receipts to rural communities across the United States. It has provided financial support for Oregon counties, helping pay for law enforcement, infrastructure and education.
The program expired Sept. 30, 2015, forcing counties to scale back on basic services.
“The Secure Rural Schools program is there as a critical safety net for Oregon’s timber-dependent communities until Congress does its job and improves forest management policies,” DeFazio said in a written statement issued Friday. “It’s imperative that members from both parties come together to reauthorize the SRS program and reinstate the payments that our communities rely on for education and safety.