Labrador, Simpson join push for federal schools funding

Raul Labrador
Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho

Idaho Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson have joined the push to rescue federal funding for schools in Idaho timber country.

The Republican lawmakers joined 50 colleagues Thursday, signing a bipartisan letter supporting the Secure Rural Schools program.

The federal program expired on Sept. 30, 2015, with the last payments going out to schools and counties earlier this year. Idaho schools received close to $6.7 million this year; the largest payment, slightly more than $1 million, went to the Mountain View School District in Idaho County.

Mike Simpson
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho

“The SRS program provides crucial support for law enforcement, transportation infrastructure, and education in the more than 720 counties in 41 states that depend on revenue from federal forests,” lawmakers said in the letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Last week, Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined a bipartisan coalition of 29 senators, who sent a similar letter of support to Senate leadership.