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Bob Larson Hirst Fix Passes
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: January 23, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. It took nearly a year, but rural Washington is breathing easier after lawmakers reach an agreement to fix the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision on water rights.

The agreement passed the bill from the House floor Thursday night by a 66-30 vote …

DAVID TAYLOR "this evening, we were able to get passed with bipartisan support in both chambers a permanent solution that provides permanent legal reliable water to property owners throughout Washington state.”

Moxee Representative David Taylor says this Hirst fix retains 1998 water law in seven of the state’s 15 critical water basins, but with some reductions of per gallon usage. It protects legal access to water for pre-existing wells.

It returns water management from the counties back to the Department of Ecology. But, most importantly …

DAVID TAYLOR “You can go and get a building permit tomorrow and you can drill a well tomorrow. There’s some limitations on the gallons-per-day usage. But the fact of the matter is if you own property and you’ve been in limbo waiting to get a building permit, you can move forward because we have taken care of the obstacle the Supreme Court has created.”

After the breakthrough, the House and Senate voted to approve and send to the governor a capital construction budget, along with the bond bill, which drew far more votes

than necessary to pass …

DAVID TAYLOR ... In all, from the standpoint of the entire package of bills that moved forward, I would certainly say that the people of Washington have been well served today.”

Senate Bill 6091 contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately when the governor signs it.

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