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Legislature passes timber counties road fund bill

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Must Reads
Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Oregon Legislature passed a bill allowing the state's hardest-hit timber counties to tap road fund reserves for sheriff's patrols.

The bill, HB 4175, is important to counties that have lost millions with the end of federal forest payments and are struggling to provide basic services. At the same time, many of those counties have large road fund reserves that came from the same source -- a share of federal timber harvest revenue -- but by law can't be used for anything but roads. 
House Bill 4175 changes that. It allows Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lane and Linn counties -- among the worse hit -- to set aside state law and use road fund money for law enforcement patrols. That portion of the bill sunsets in January 2016. A second section allows all counties to transfer road fund money to sheriff's patrols, but requires them to pay it back within three years.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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Don D
0 #1 Legislature passes timber counties road fund billDon D 2012-03-06 13:56:37
Another band-aid placed over the real problem by an inept Oregon Legislature. All of these counties should budget based on the revenues received from their population. They should have never expected the Federal Government "hand-outs" to go on forever. Those "hand-outs" were put in place to assist the counties during a tough time while they adjusted their budgets. They were not designed to replace the lost timber revenue. But now that they have, the first thing to get cut, when the government threatens to stop those payments, is the funding to patrols, jails and fire. Now they will be allowed to use road funds for vital services while our roads continue to need major repairs. So, where will the money come from to repair the roads next year or the year after when the counties drain the road fund reserves? If these county commissioners cannot prepare a budget based on the revenue they collect, they should resign and let someone who can take their place. It's quite simple - live within your means just like every one of us has too. And yes, I live in one of the counties the list.
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