March 28, 2007

CRAPO, SENATE VOTE TO SUPPORT COUNTY PAYMENTS

Continuation of Secure Rural Schools act is favored in amendment

Washington, DC - Idaho schools and communities got a vote of support today as the Senate voted 75 to 22 to fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said the vote demonstrates that a majority of Senators support assisting rural counties struggling to provide necessary services in areas with large amounts of federal land."Without continuation of county payments, Idaho counties stand to lose millions in critical funding for schools, roads and other uses," Crapo said. "The vote to approve this amendment shows progress in our effort to ensure that rural communities do not have to forgo road maintenance and make cuts to education."The amendment was offered by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden with support from Crapo and fellow Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who both cosponsored and voted in favor of the amendment. Because it is attached to a spending bill which may be vetoed by the White House, efforts continue to make sure the program is reauthorized.