House passes one-year county payment extension

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a one year extension of county payments as part of an extensive transportation bill.
   “The House today gave a lifeline to rural communities to keep essential services like law enforcement and schools up and running. The entire delegation worked together to get this done for Oregon,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.). “We can’t rest now though — the clock is ticking. We will continue our bipartisan work on a long-term solution to create jobs in the woods to make our federally-forested communities self reliant once more for the long term.”
   Once passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President, the law will provide about $100 million for Oregon communities.
   “This short-term funding will allow counties to serve the people while Congress works on a long-term solution. It’s getting harder and harder to eke out extensions of this program, though. There’s a better way. We need a sustainable policy that works in our communities, works for our forests, and puts people back to work,” Rep. Walden said. “With this one year funding approved, we can now focus our full attention on passing our Oregon forestry reform plan with Reps. DeFazio and Schrader and the Natural Resources Committee.”
   Earlier this year, Rep. Walden received a commitment from the highest levels of the House Republican leadership to secure this one year extension of county payments.