A bill introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday and sponsored by all local legislators would eliminate the reduction in state basic education funding that occurs in counties with federal and state forestlands.

HB 2791 was sponsored by Representative Steve Tharinger and co-sponsored by Representatives Blake, Walsh, Chapman.

A companion bill in the Senate was sponsored by Senator Kevin Van De Wege.

In the bill it states “School districts in counties with federal and state forests are uniquely limited in terms of generating local revenue to enhance the program of basic education and to repair and renew school facilities.” 

If approved, the legislature would no longer reduce state basic education funding to school districts in counties with these forestlands. 

The money school districts receive as a result of federal and state forest revenue payments would be considered a grant, or as compensation, to inhabitants of local areas. 

These revenues would be delivered to school districts as a supplement to basic education allocations in addition to the state’s  basic education apportionment. 

The bill was forwarded to the Appropriations committee.

The 2020 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on March 12