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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A bill that would allow Idaho farmers to use prison inmate labor when there is a farmworker shortage is before the Idaho state Senate.
The bill would allow inmates to help grow, harvest or process perishable Idaho farm commodities.
State Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, the bill's author, says fruit growers in southwestern Idaho have struggled to find enough workers in recent years. She says a lot of pears in the Sunny Slope region near Caldwell went unpicked last year.
The Capital Press (http://bit.ly/1lGgwBu) reports that the inmates would make at least minimum wage and some of their earnings would help offset the cost of transportation and security.
Information from: The Capital Press (Ore.), http://the capital press (ore.)
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