A bipartisan bill was introduced yesterday to restore mandatory funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. It would also renew the Secure Rural Schools program, which supports schools, law-enforcement and roads in more than 700 rural counties across the country. Colorado counties received $34.5 million in PILT funds in fiscal year 2014. The PILT program helps counties offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal land within their boundaries. Communities can use PILT resources for critical services, such as police, fire protection and emergency response programs. The Secure Rural Schools program provides resources for public schools, road improvement and maintenance projects, and forest restoration and improvement projects in and around National Forests.