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President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill ensures rural counties like Douglas County would receive Secure Rural Schools funding for another three years.

When President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday, he approved funding for a host of road repairs, bridge replacements and other transportation projects around the country.

But he also ensured rural counties like Douglas County would receive Secure Rural Schools funding for another three years.

The money is a federal payment to local governments that compensates them for the loss of federal timber harvest revenue.

While some of that money will go to local schools, hence the name Secure Rural Schools, much of it goes to the Douglas County government, which uses it to pay for basic services ranging from road improvements to law enforcement.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners said in a press release Monday that the renewal of funds shows that the commissioners’ advocacy with congressional delegates has paid off for Douglas County citizens.

Secure Rural Schools has also been amended, the commissioners said, to create a pathway for counties to get back on regular and consistent timber receipt payments.

Douglas County is one of 700 across the United States to receive SRS funding; however, because half the county is covered with federally-owned land, it is the county that receives the largest portion of SRS funding in the nation.

It’s expected the county will receive $8.8 million from O&C timberlands operated by the Bureau of Land Management and $6.48 million from National Forest Lands.

Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman said the reauthorization of SRS funding is a “big win for Douglas County and our residents.”

“It is very welcome news for us and many other counties and schools across the U.S. struggling financially to provide services. Now that these funds are approved, we can focus 100% of our efforts on responsible federal forest management,” Freeman said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(8) comments

CitizenJoe

When the next part of the Build Back Better agenda is signed into law, no doubt local Republicans will claim credit.

Fine.

America needs it. Douglas County needs it.

NYT has a nice breakdown of the bill passed this morning. You can google "Everything in the House Democrats’ Budget Bill"--which has great graphics and explainer. I'll post the link in comment below.

CitizenJoe

NYT link I promised, filled with lovely graphics and detailed explanations:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/11/18/upshot/whats-in-democrats-reconciliation-bill.html

CitizenJoe

Quinnipac Nov. 11-15

Do you support or oppose a roughly $2 trillion spending bill on social programs such as child care, education, family tax breaks, and expanding Medicare for seniors?

% Support/Oppose

Total 58/38

Dem 90/6

GOP 28/69

Ind 59/37

Momos

This is Trump country, voters here love being conned. This lie was will bring him votes. Another pro-logging video and we'll be clear cutting our National Forests in no time. The commissioner's slush fund just got re-filled.

melrosereader

"Tim Freeman said the reauthorization of SRS funding is a “big win for Douglas County and our residents.”

Yes it is. Too bad Freeman couldn't thanj DeFazio, Wyden and Merkeley. And what about Rep Bentz who will soon represent the southern part of Douglas County? He voted "NO" of course, along with almost the entire Republican Party.

Let me guess how Alek Skarlatos would have voted had he been elected. Never mind. I think we all know.

Daniel

Thanks to our Democratic Senators and Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio, and our Democratic President! Thankful for Democratic leadership.

CitizenJoe

It's great that Douglas County gets this money.

Thank you, Congressman Peter DeFazio, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley.

Thank you, entire Oregon Delegation, except Bentz.

No thanks to Cliff Bentz, the only Republican in the Oregon Delegation, and the only Oregon congresscritter to vote against this.

The Douglas County Commissioners are all Republicans, and Republicans voted overwhelmingly "No!" on this legislation; now, of course, they are claiming credit; look: they want the money--and good for them!--but they were incapable or unwilling to work to get Bentz to vote for it.

cipherself

Spot on, Citizen Joe! The Commissioners taking credit for this borders on surreal. As you point out, they apparently overlooked Bentz with all their "hard work" and the majority of Republicans who voted, like sheep, the party line of No No No....words that must have echoed out to DC from one of Heard's little fits. The credit for this goes solidly to President Biden and the Democrats of the House and Senate. Shame on Bentz and shame on the Commissioners.

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