An Afternoon in Tionesta
Monday afternoon I visited Tionesta to meet with the Commissioners and other local representatives about The Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act and Marcellus Shale.
I explained that although Marcellus Shale has the potential to create many jobs for our state, our history shows that we must proceed properly and ensure that appropriate safety and environmental concerns are addressed. I currently have two bills that address these concerns, and will introduce a third this September.
The citizens of Tionesta also expressed how important Secure Rural School funding is to Forest County. Almost half of Forest County is covered by the Allegheny National Forest which means they have a very small amount of taxable land. This has created a challenge for Forest County, and rural school districts across the County, in generating the appropriate level of revenue to fund their schools. The Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act works to address this problem by creating county payments to offset these shortfalls. I hope to address their concerns when the act comes up for re-authorization in 2012.