On Wednesday, August 16th at 4:00 PM EDT, the National Association of Counties (NACo) will host a national conference call with SRS county officials to discuss outreach and support strategies for urging Congress to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. All county officials from counties that receive payments under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program are encouraged to call in (click here to view your county SRS payments). Dial-in information is below:
Dial-In: (719) 457-0816
With Congress in recess until September 5, now is the time to ask your members of Congress to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. County officials know better than anyone the importance of SRS to local communities, and your members of Congress are currently back home listening to constituents like you. Upon returning to Washington, Congress must work quickly to pass several bills to keep the government open and fund important programs – ideal opportunities to reauthorize the SRS program.
Created in 2000 under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (P.L. 106-393) as counties faced dramatic reductions in timber revenues from federal forest land, SRS funding supports essential county functions, including education, public safety and environmental stewardship. However, the SRS program expired in September 2015 and has not been reauthorized for FY 2016 or beyond, leaving the availability of future SRS payments in jeopardy. The expiration of SRS will create dramatic budgetary shortfalls if Congress fails to renew this long-standing federal obligation to county governments, leaving counties less able to provide essential public services.
For more information about NACo’s national SRS conference call, contact Jonathan Shuffield, Associate Legislative Director for Public Lands, at email@example.com or 202.942.4207.