County payments extended this year

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LAKE COUNTY – With last week's passage of an emergency supplemental bill through Congress, there's good news for rural schools.


The bill, HR 2206, included $120 billion for the war in Iraq, but also included a one-year extension of the county payments law, known officially as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.


The county payments law distributes funds to rural counties based on historic timber receipts for those areas. Supporters of the program say that it has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to rural areas, with most of the money going to schools and county road programs.


HR 2206 included $425 million for county payments law funding through the end of this year. The bill

was passed by both the House and Senate May 24. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law the following day, according to the White House press office.


As Lake County News previously reported, Lake County's most recent payment payment from the law was roughly $1 million, which was split between the county's road department and local schools.


Half of the schools funding – nearly $250,000 – went to Upper Lake schools, based on the amount of Forest Service land in the district's boundaries and the number of students in the district who are the children of Forest Service employees, as Lake County News has reported.


The funding had been included in a previous war supplemental, which the president vetoed.


Congressman Mike Thompson said he voted to add the funding to HR 2206, but ultimately voted against the bill as a whole, because he said it lacked a timeline for bringing US troops homes from Iraq.


The original Secure Rural Schools bill became law in 2000 and expired late last year. Efforts are under way to get the funding renewed on a multi-year basis.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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