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.