The state legislature is considering bills that would allow Oregon to create its own safety net for rural timber counties instead of relying on diminishing federal subsidies.
[Curry County Commissioner Susan Brown] is among a group of lawmakers who think the payments are hurting the county in the long run. She wants the timber payments to end, even though it could bankrupt the county of 21,000, with an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent.
The most controversial would allow Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber to declare a state of emergency, then impose a local tax to pay for public safety.
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