Helium bill floats “Secure Rural Schools Program” for another year

Secure Rural Schools program invested over $400,000 in Grays Harbor County in 2012

WASHINGTON D.C. – A bill meant to prevent a worldwide helium shortage will also keep a federal subsidy to timber-dependent counties afloat for another year.

The Federal Helium Program, which provides about 42 percent of the nation’s helium, was set to shut down Oct. 7th. The Senate passed the bill Thursday, a day after the House. Attached to that bill was an extension of the Secure Rural Schools Program.

Twenty-Seven Washington counties will receive $22 million through the extension, counties in 41 states will receive an estimated $329 million total.