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Albuquerque Journal: Lawmakers want mineral funds restored

A bipartisan group of western lawmakers is pushing legislation in Washington to restore cuts of $110 million in federal mineral royalty payments to 35 states.

Senators from New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho signed onto legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican. Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

The bills would allow states to collect royalty payments directly from companies that produce minerals from federal lands within their borders while placing the states’ share off-limits to federal budget cuts.

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