Washington, D.C. – This morning Senate Republicans blocked passage of the energy bill that had been approved by the House of Represenatives.
The Democrats needed 60 votes for passage, but the final count was 59-40. Republicans maintained they would not pass the bill because of the massive tax increases initiated by the Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is hopeful of getting a revised energy bill passed later today. According to CNN, Democrats have said they would strip the taxes from the legislation to move the bill forward. The bill currenty calls for $21 billion in tax increases.
A portion of the energy bill is the four year extension of the Secure Rural and Community Self Determination Act which would provide Tuolumne County with approximately $2.5 million annually. $1 million would be allocated for schools ($178,000 for Sonora High School), $1 million for roads and $500,000 for the Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).
County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva commented from Washington, D.C. that California Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein was planning on contacting Reid to see if the Secure Rural and Community Self Determination Act could still be added to the scaled down Energy Bill package before the final vote later this afternoon.
Written by Bill Johnson