County Elections for Fiscal Year 2021 Under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 28, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CORREA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (S. 3706) to provide for the application of certain provisions of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 for fiscal year 2021.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows: S. 3706

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. COUNTY ELECTIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021 UNDER THE SECURE RURAL SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY SELF- DETERMINATION ACT OF 2000.

Sections 102(b)(1)(D), 102(d)(1)(F), and 102(d)(3)(D) of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 7112(b)(1)(D), 7112(d)(1)(F), 7112(d)(3)(D)) shall be applied for fiscal year 2021.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of S. 3706. This bill makes important corrections to the recently passed Secure Rural Schools reauthorization. Without these corrections, counties would not have the choice of electing to receive SRS payments or electing to receive Federal timber harvest receipts. Rather, they would have to take SRS payments.

Furthermore, the current reauthorization does not allow counties to elect their allocations in advance of their fiscal year 2021 payments, meaning all eligible counties would receive 80 percent Title I funds, 20 percent Title II funds, and no Title III funds.

While Title I payments, used for roads and schools, will be the bulk of the payment either way, it is important to ensure that counties get access to Title III funds. Title III funds are important because they can be used for specified county purposes. These purposes can include law enforcement on Federal land, search and rescue, and wildfire risk reduction.

This fix will help timber-dependent counties across the country and ensure continued support for roads, schools, law enforcement, and environmental benefits.
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