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Utah getting funds to fight crickets

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WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators working out differences in this year's emergency supplemental spending bill agreed Wednesday to send an extra $6.6 million to Utah to fight Mormon crickets.

The money was secured by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.

Bennett earlier this year obtained another $1 million to fight crickets in Utah. The extra money won Wednesday now brings the total to $7.6 million. That is up from just $650,000 last year.

Negotiators agreed to send a total of $20 million to fight the crickets in Utah, Nevada and Idaho — and to split the money equally among those states.

The deal worked out between House and Senate negotiators now goes to both bodies for final approval. Such conference reports are usually quickly approved and sent to the president for signature into law.