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September 23, 2013
AG Ferguson demands payments for rural counties

SEATTLE Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with 13 other attorneys general, sent a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture demanding that the department and the U.S. Forest Service return sequestered funds owed to the states.

This would be a loss of $1,158,186 due to the people of Washington state. The funds would be used to finance wildland fire mitigation, assistance to homeowners, wildfire-related education, roads and rural school programs.

The letter protests withholding payments to the states under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, Twenty Five Percent Fund Act and Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act.

In August, an attorneys general coalition successfully challenged the U.S. Department of Interior’s attempt to withhold gas and oil payments due to the states.

The coalition of attorneys general believe the funds are owed to the states under the federal Budget Control Act. The states would then pass the funds through to their counties to fund programs.

The letter can be found, here.


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