Rep. Raul Labrador begins to show concern for the interests of Idahoans when an election approaches, but Idaho needs someone working for them full time. Labrador is now willing to take money from the federal government for Idaho counties to help pay for public services and schools. We get this money because counties having federal lands have less private land upon which taxes may be collected. On the other hand, Labrador supports measures that could result in selling treasured public lands and drastically reducing money coming to counties for schools, roads and services.
The Secure Rural Schools Act and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) are programs that provide this money. Congress extended support of the Secure Rural Schools Act, but action is needed on PILT. House leaders chose to include the extension for PILT, which has $26 million for Idaho, in the farm bill rather than the omnibus appropriations bill.
How inconvenient for Labrador, who voted against the farm bill once because cuts in the food stamp program weren’t deep enough for him. He should realize that many hard-working Idaho families can’t afford healthy meals. Labrador should vote yes on the farm bill to support rural towns, agriculture and Idaho families.