A bipartisan group of local lawmakers has filed legislation that would allow four counties, including Guilford and Forsyth, to compensate victims of an old state eugenics program.

The payments would come from the counties' general funds, and it's not clear if their boards of commissioners will choose to provide the money.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the payments would be made at the discretion of each board and would remain confidential.

North Carolina ran a forced sterilization program for 45 years, ending in 1974. As of February of last year, a compensation program had paid about $45,000 to more than 200 victims who were determined to have been involuntarily sterilized.

Most of the victims of the program were found to be in the state's most urban counties, including Guilford and Forsyth.

Two similar bills from previous sessions failed to make it into law.

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