U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that communities across Alaska will soon receive a total of $10,990,708 to fund schools and local budget priorities. The payments are being provided through the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, which Murkowski successfully reauthorized and funded through Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 in the FY2018 omnibus appropriations bill.
“Local communities in Alaska and across the country rely on the Secure Rural Schools program to pay for essential services such as schools and roads due to a decline in timber receipts and a lack of access to federally-owned forested lands,” Murkowski said. “Moving forward, we need a long-term solution that gets our forests working again to provide economic opportunities for the communities that depend on them.”
Murkowski has long supported the SRS program. This Congress, she cosponsored S. 430, a bipartisan bill led by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, that would extend the authorization of the Secure Rural Schools program through FY2020.
The Forest Service controls 22 million acres of land in Alaska, including 17 million acres in the southeast region. A list of eligible boroughs and communities and the amount of funding each is expected to receive is now available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.Murkowski is chairman of both the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.