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DeFazio Secures Increased O&C Payments for Oregon Counties

Jun 11, 2008
Press Release

June 11, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC— Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) announced today that he has secured additional funding for Oregon counties through the annual appropriations process. DeFazio worked with Representative Norm Dicks, Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, to increase payments to Oregon and California Lands (O&C) counties in the fiscal year 2009 Interior Appropriations Act.

— Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) announced today that he has secured additional funding for Oregon counties through the annual appropriations process. DeFazio worked with Representative Norm Dicks, Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, to increase payments to Oregon and California Lands (O&C) counties in the fiscal year 2009 Interior Appropriations Act.

"I am pleased that Oregon counties will receive an additional $9 million in O&C payments," DeFazio said. "$9 million isn’t a lot of money compared to what these counties received under the county payments program, but it will help maintain some sheriff’s patrols, jail beds, and other critical county services that are currently scheduled to be cut. It will help mitigate a small amount of the pain."

Under the O&C Act, counties in southern Oregon are entitled to 75% of the receipts generated from timber harvest on those lands. However, since the 1950s, the annual appropriations bills have reduced the county share by 25%. Yesterday, Chairman Dicks was successful in attaching a provision to the fiscal year 2009 Interior Appropriations Act to restore the county share to 75%. Given the pending expiration of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, commonly called the ‘county payments program,’ which has provided money to keep many Oregon counties afloat since 2000, Congressman DeFazio spearheaded efforts for a return to the statutory funding formula in the O&C Act. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this will bring in an additional $9 million for Oregon counties in Fiscal Year 2009.

"I will continue to work to extend the county payments program but this money represents some modest relief for counties preparing for devastating cuts," DeFazio continued."

Below is a summary of the additional funding counties in southwest Oregon will receive under the Dicks/DeFazio provision:

County

 

Additional FY09 Payment

Benton

 

$252,900

Coos

 

$531,000

Curry

 

$328,500

Douglas

 

$2,254,500

Josephine

 

$1,087,200

Lane

 

$1,374,300

Linn

 

$237,600