Many of Oregon's poorest counties were relieved Monday to see that President Obama has included county payments in his new budget.
The Oregon Congressional Delegation says Obama's 2012 budget puts almost $330 million aside for the first year of a five-year extension to the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act.
The money is split among 41 states with historically timber-dependent communities.
Eric Schmidt of the Association of Oregon Counties says they're pleased the payments are in the budget, but the amount still represents a substantial cut.
Eric Schmidt: "Congress is going to make the ultimate decision on this and there's every possibility that given the partisan atmosphere in the House and in the Senate, that anything could happen. So we're hopeful that we're going to be able to work with both chambers and keep secure rural schools in the next budget."
County payments were last reauthorized in 2008 as part of the TARP or Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The last check will be cut later this year -- it's 40 percent less than the amount awarded in 2006.