Washington, DC — Thursday morning funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act was included in a Senate Energy Bill that fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed for approval.
If approved, $2.5 million would have been allocated to Tuolumne County for schools and roads. This is funding that the county has come to rely on over the years to make up for a decline in revenue from the timber industry.
Leading Senate Republicans spoke against the overall Energy Bill because it included billions of dollars in new taxes for major oil companies.
Later in the day a scaled down Energy Bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was approved 86-8.
“Unfortunately it (Secure Rural Schools) was taken out of the Energy Bill,” says Scott Gerber who is the spokesperson for Senator Dianne Feinstein. “It was something she had hoped would be in the Energy Bill, and we are going to continue to look for ways to move this legislation forward.”
While Gerber acknowledges that things do not look bright for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, the Senator still hopes to find a way to get the Act approved before the completion of the session.
Written by BJ Hansen