Friday, April 5, 2013 The CSAC Bulletin
Sequestration and the Secure Rural School & Road Payments
As reported in CSAC’s March 22 Bulletin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that payments to states under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program are being subjected to “sequestration." Specifically, USDA is claiming that federal fiscal year 2012 payments – which were released to states at the beginning of February 2013 – are subject to the Budget Control Act, which mandated budget reductions totaling $85 million for federal fiscal year 2013. The U.S. Forest Service has communicated their intent to Governors across the nation. The Forest Service’s letter to Governor Jerry Brown is available on the CSAC website here (in the federal section).

CSAC, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and various school groups have expressed strong concerns with the Obama Administration’s attempt to recapture a portion of the SRS allocations. In addition, RCRC and CSAC have initiated discussions with Governor Brown’s Administration and the State Controller’s Office to ensure an agreeable course of action.

In the meantime, CSAC and RCRC urge counties to delay taking action regarding allocation of the SRS Title I, II or III payments until we have the chance to discuss various options with the Brown Administration and State Controller. We will keep counties informed of the status of these discussions and any recommendations that result. Lastly, we encourage you to send letters to the U.S. Forest Service, similar to the letter submitted by CSAC and RCRC, also available on the CSAC website.

Despite the issues of federal sequestration, CSAC and RCRC continue to work in our efforts to persuade Congress to reauthorize the SRS program.