School district in Idaho’s timber country are bracing for a big hit, if Congress doesn’t act to keep payments from what’s left of the old Craig-Wyden timber replacement money, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determinaion Act, flowing, reports Kevin Richert of Idaho EdNews. The payments didn’t make the cut in last year’s “Cromnibus” funding bill, Richert reports, meaning $28 million for rural schools and roads in Idaho could dwindle to $2 million next year.
Richert reports that Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are working with Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden on “a number of ideas” to fund the program, according to Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern. Rep. Raul Labrador also supports restored funding, as a stopgap, at least. “The uncertainty of these annual funding battles must end, as county commissioners across Idaho and the West will attest,” Labrador spokesman Dan Popkey said. “Congress should empower local governments to generate revenue from the abundant resources in their backyards.” Richert’s full report is online here.