Secure Rural Schools Amendment Passes US Senate

Mar 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have secured their colleagues' support of several million dollars in aid to counties in timber country. As Oregon Public Broadcasting's April Baer reports, the Senate voted 86 to 12 in favor of an amendment to extend the Secure Rural Schools Act.

The Amendment has become part of the transportation bill. If it survives the legislative process, it will mean $102 million for some Oregon counties that historically relied heavily on timber income.

Alex Culyer manages governmental relations for Lane County. He says winning over senators in other parts of the country was hard work.

Culyer: "The counties in Oregon took the lead in trying to make this more of a nationwide conversation. We started to gain, especially in rural parts of the South, some key supporters."

Some places will still face substantial budget cuts at the end of this fiscal year. Lane County, for example, will still face an estimated $10.5 million shortfall, even with the extension.

The amendment may face opposition from House members bent on fiscal austerity.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting