Washington DC – An amendment to the Transportation Re-authorization Bill (S. 1813) has been approved to re-authorize the Secure Rural Act for one year. The expired Secure Rural Schools Act provided Tuolumne county with approximately $2 million to divide between schools and transportation.
Max Baucus, U.S. Senator from Montana, proposed the amendment that passed with bipartisan support 82-16. Tuolumne County Superintendent of Public Schools, Joseph Silva says, “The fact that it passed (with bi-partisan support) is huge for rural counties in California.” The amendment’s cost of approximately $800 million is offset with a variety of items. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer support the bill. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and go to the house next week.
In addition to representing Tuolumne County’s interests, Silva also represents the rural counties in California as part of the group Partnership for a Rural America. He spoke with the group today and they are very excited. Silva says, “What we think is going to happen is by March 31st the President will sign a bill that provides jobs for Americans and it is going to be the transportation bill, of which the secure rural act is a part of for one year.” His group plans to call representatives to ask for support of the House version of the bill.
In regards to a bill that had joint support from Representatives Jeff Denham and Tom McClintock to provide long term funding, the Federal Forest County Revenue, Schools, And Jobs Act of 2012, Silva says, “We would rather have something firm for one year that we know that would be very helpful for the schools and for the roads in Tuolumne county and then we will renew our efforts for early year.”
Read more about rural funding act in the news story “Support Grows For Rural Funding Act“