NORTH BAY -- The House of Representatives passed HR 3082, legislation that reversed a decision by the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Interior to take away geothermal royalty payments from Lake and Sonoma counties. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, fought in favor of restoring the royalties.

"During these tough economic times, it is important that we ensure our local communities are able to collect these essential funds," said Rep. Thompson.

The royalty payments are used for county services, such as public safety and road maintenance. HR 3082 will ensure counties receive their share of the royalties through the end of fiscal year 2011.