Begich Pans Secure Rural Schools Collection Notices
Urges Forest Service to Withdraw Letters, says Congressional Action Needed
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today expressed concern about action taken by the U.S. Forest Service advising that Secure Rural Schools funds owed to Alaska and other states will be withheld or requested to be returned. At stake is nearly $1 million owed to Alaska schools.
“I have always said the automatic cuts mandated by Congress make no sense and here’s a perfect example. Telling Alaska that funds used to put people to work will be reduced by nearly $1 million flies in the face of the recent statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that he wants to help bring about financial stability in communities throughout the Tongass National Forest. Asking states to return funds already received – slipping the federal hand into the state’s wallet – is certainly an example of the federal overreach Alaskans have been protesting for years. We need Congress to act on reauthorization of Secure Rural Schools funding, not retroactive cuts."