Today, Mark Udall voted in favor of two programs that help support public roads, school districts and crucial county programs in rural communities throughout Colorado. The bipartisan amendment to the larger surface transportation bill in the Senate passed the Senate 82-16.
The measure would fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program for a year and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) for one year. PILT helps local governments offset shortfalls from not being able to collect property taxes on nontaxable federal lands in their areas. SRS provides help to more than 700 counties in 42 states maintain public roads, schools, and forest-related economic development projects, which are major job creators in rural Colorado.
"These programs have been critically important to supporting local jobs and maintaining the quality of life and services that rural Coloradans depend on, especially in today's economic climate. This bipartisan measure would help them improve school facilities, maintain country roads and keep up potentially life-saving forest-management work, like mitigating wildfires," Udall said. "While I would have preferred a long-term reauthorization to these programs so that the communities that rely on them have more certainty, this could be the only chance to get this vital funding extended this Congress before it expires later this year."