County timber payments stay alive in Congress

A one-year extension of federal timber subsidies paid to rural counties has survived conference committee negotiations between the House and the Senate.

Rep. Peter DeFazio says the conference report on the transportation bill that contains the money should be signed late Wednesday night, and go before Congress for a vote on Friday.

The provision put into the Senate transportation bill by Sen. Ron Wyden would distribute $346 million to 700 counties in 41 states. About $100 million of that would go to Oregon, where timber counties have had to make drastic budget cuts, particularly to public safety, since the Secure Rural Schools Act expired last year.

— Jeff Barnard, Associated Press

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