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Idaho, Oregon senators tout bill to help rural counties

U.S. senators from Idaho and Oregon have introduced legislation to create an endowment to replace lost revenue to rural counties due to declines in timber cutting on federal lands.

Republicans Jim Risch and Mike Crapo of Idaho and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon on Thursday gathered at the Idaho Statehouse to tout the Forest Management for Rural Stability Act introduced last week.

The senators say the legislation would create an endowment to give at least $300 million annually to rural counties in 40 states for schools, roads, law enforcement and other essential services.

Similar legislation introduced last year died in the Senate Judiciary Committee without a hearing.

A different program has been giving money to rural areas hit by reduced timber cutting, but it expired in September.

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