The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) applaud Congress last week for their support of legislation providing for a two-year re-authorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (SRS).
Included as a policy rider to H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization Act of 2015, also known as the “Doc Fix,” H.R. 2 will provide California’s forested counties with more than $53 million in SRS funding for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The president signed the bill into law April 23.
“SRS funding is critical to California’s rural counties, and we appreciate the re-authorization provided by Congress and the president,” said Lee Adams, RCRC chairman, and Sierra County supervisor. “It’s now time to identify a long-term, stable funding source for forested counties and local schools to maintain vital programs, and avoid interruptions in services and operations.”
SRS funding mitigates the impact to county governments from the reduction of timber harvesting on federal forest lands. Prior to this re-authorization, SRS expired on Sept. 20, 2013, resulting in a loss of funding for 2014 and future years to support critical programs in local schools and forested counties across the United States.
Earlier this year, 27 RCRC member counties adopted resolutions urging Congress to reauthorize SRS, outlining impacts the lack of funding has upon local schools and county road programs. RCRC officers utilized these resolutions in federal lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. this past February.
The RCRC is a 34 member county service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties.
RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties.
To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org. and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter.