U.S Senator Romney (R-UT) this week joined his colleagues, led by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in introducing legislation to ensure counties do not lose out on essential services due to federal land ownership by reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program through September 2022. The SRS program, which helps fund essential services in rural communities home to federal land, expired in September 2020; the last payment under the current authorization is scheduled for April 2021. Full text of the bill can be found here.
“The Secure Rural Schools program is an essential funding source for schools in Utah’s rural communities, communities which have also been hit especially hard by the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Romney said. “It is necessary for Congress to reauthorize the SRS program, and I will continue pushing to ensure that we see it through.”
Last Congress, Senator Romney cosponsored legislation that would provide long-term financial security for rural counties by reauthorizing the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) programs.
Romney also introduced the Connected Rural Schools Act to help close the digital disconnect for rural students and ensure that broadband and other internet accessibility technologies are eligible for funding from the existing Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program.