Bennet Announces Over $10 Million in Secure Rural Schools Payments for Colorado

Local News

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of William Burns to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Pool via AP)

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that Colorado will receive more than $10 million to support public schools, roads, and other municipal services through the Forest Service’s Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. The funding will be delivered as payments to eligible counties.

“The Secure Rural Schools program is critical to our state, providing important investments in our rural schools, roads, and emergency services,” said Bennet. “In the months ahead, Congress should look to extend this partnership and provide certainty for local governments by reauthorizing SRS.”

In addition to payments for schools and roads, SRS supports Firewise Communities programs, reimburses counties for emergency services on national forests, and funds development of community wildfire protection plans.

The Forest Service retains a portion of SRS program funds to support projects that improve forest conditions and support jobs in rural communities. Resource advisory committees, made up of local residents representing varied areas of interest and expertise, review and recommend projects that meet their local needs.

In the Senate, Bennet has long supported reauthorizing and fully funding SRS. Earlier this year, Bennet and a bipartisan group of his colleagues introduced legislation to reauthorize the program for two years. In 2017, he introduced legislation to reauthorize SRS and secured a two-year reauthorization in the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill. In 2018, Bennet and a bipartisan group of senators urged Senate leadership to include reauthorization for SRS in any end-of-year package. In 2019, he supported legislation that would extend SRS through fiscal year (FY) 2020. Later that year, Congress reauthorized SRS for FY19 and FY20. 

A breakdown of funding by state and county is available HERE.

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