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A burning question

Rep. Wayne Meyer, R-Rathdrum, is working furiously on legislation to double the $1-per-acre fee for agricultural field burning - even though Meyer, a grass seed farmer himself, would then have to pay more.

The reason? When the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, on which Meyer serves, passed a lean budget for the state Agriculture Department, “There was no general-fund money for smoke management,” Meyer said. “That’s why I voted no.”

Meyer said he’s talked to other farmers. “We really feel it’s important to have the necessary funding to operate that program,” he said.

Meyer’s bill will be up for consideration tomorrow in the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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