2012 Regular Legislative Session 2012

My day started the day with a hearing on one of my bills in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. HB 1117 would change Washington Water Law from Relinquishment to Common Law Abandonment. Simply put, the bill would reverse the burden of proof from the water right holder to the DOE. This is the second year the bill has received a hearing, but the Democrats continue to refuse to move it out of committee. Not surprisingly, the Department of Ecology, Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP), the Sierra Club, and two tribes spoke in opposition to the bill. According the CELP, the bill is”a big step backwards”. So let me get this right, protecting an individual’s water right from the state taking it is a step backward.

I’ve got a 1:30 Environment Committee meeting today and am still trying to decide whether to make an attempt over the pass tonight. They’re expecting another 6 inches of snow on White Pass by 5:30 today, Highway 18 is currently closed with trees all over the road and I-5 was closed this morning at Centralia. Now I’m hearing freezing rain is in the forecast for the Eastern Slopes of the Cascades. Not a real positive outlook for traveling today.

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