Oregon counties could see checks early next year from a one-year extension of federal timber payments.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign a bill to maintain a federal helium reserve, a move aimed at avoiding a worldwide shortage of a gas used in industrial processes.
The extension of aid to timber-dependent counties was added in Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden's Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Rocky McVay, leader of the Association of O&C Counties, tells the Medford Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1bd35BU ) checks are likely to go out in January and February. But he says that's tentative because of the uncertainty about the fate of the federal budget.
Thirty-three counties are expected to get a share of the $100 million coming to Oregon, out of a $329 million congressional appropriation.