Hirst is Hanging On!

Tuesday July 18, 2017

Passing 5239 has to be the most important work on the floor of the legislature!

The House must pass ESSB 5239, The Senate Hirst Fix bill tomorrow on the floor!  You can call your legislator and insist the stubborn resistance to a fair and equitable solution as provided in ESSB 5239 cease now.  July 20 is the last day of the current and 3rd special session, the longest the legislature has gone into overtime in the history of the state!  This bill could pass tomorrow, or another special session could be called, and the next 30 days could well be spent as the 30 days of the current session have been, wasting the time of all and delaying capital projects because of a refusal to accept a bill that would return water management in Washington State to the level of integrity that had existed for decades.  You need to thank your legislator, or tell them how you want them to vote!



It is time to throw off the mantel of special interests and vote for ESSB 5239!

Constituents paying attention to the issue are encouraged and thankful to those in the Senate standing ground for water rights, knowing the Hirst Decision of the State Supreme Court was wrong and will be damaging to every homeowner in the state.  Senators Warnick, Honeyford, and Schoesler are to be commended for their work and tough stance on behalf of property owners rural and urban in standing fast on ESSB 5239, they are protecting your properties from being either severely devalued or severly over-valued because of the tax shift that is inevitable without a Hirst fix. http://johnkoster.houserepublicans.wa.gov/2017/04/14/rep-john-koster-hirst-fix-matter-april-14-2017/ 

These Senators, along with others in the Senate understand what is at risk, financial ruin for many because of the loss of value or the exponential tax shift, but also the environmental integrity of water management in the state.  People without water rights on their properties cannot get financing and so the value of their properties plummet. Others with water for their properties will have to make up for those losses in tax revenue.   

ESSB 5239 would do a good job of redressing two court cases, Foster, and Hirst, and would allow for better management in water and natural resources with greater environmental integrity.  Foster did not allow for the Over-riding Consideration of the Public Interests in water management and created a scenario where environmental projects could not be used to off-set planned water uses.  ESSB 5239 would fix that scenario also, allowing for a path in law to promote environmental improvements in land and water mangement.  

The Senators who have been standing strong for what is good for this state are Angel, Bailey, Baumgartner, Becker, Braun, Brown, Ericksen, Fain, Fortunato, Hawkins, Hobbs, Honeyford, King, Miloscia, Mullet, O'Ban, Padden, Pearson, Rivers, Rossi, Sheldon, Short, Takko, Walsh, Warnick, Wilson, and Zeiger.  These senators deserve a great deal of thanks for standing in this battle for so long and so steadfastly.  Encourage them to continue to do so on this most important bill!

Those in the Senate who need to rethink their votes and have a reasoned and constituent based vote, shrugging off the burden of special interests are Billig, Carlyle, Chase, Cleveland, Conway, Darneille, Frockt, Hasagawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, McCoy, Nelson, Palumbo, Pederson, Ranker, Rolfes, Saldana, Van De Wege, and Wellman.  

Because the House has never called this bill to the floor, even after the four time passage in the Senate, there is no record of how votes would have gone.  There are however, educated guesses that can be made.  There are sponsors of bills that would have had citizens paying exorbitant fees and promote mitigation through water banks, trucked water, and other implausible solutions, including a one-year moritorium on the Hirst Decision, which would apparently then re-start the whole problem again after December 31, 2018.  They have been implacable in the stance that promotes such things without the consideration of the social and environmental woes they chose to ignore in their bill writing.  

The House Representatives holding up sensible solutions and promoting their agendas with the help of Governor Inslee and Ecology are in the main, Springer and Stanford.  It is not possible to tell for sure what level of backing they have in the house, but it is significant enough to have ignored addressing ESSB 5239.  Speaker Chopp certainly bears a good deal of responsibility for not leading the house to recognizing the importance of the Hirst Fix issue, and passing ESSB 5239.  As does Mike Chapman and Joe Fitzgibbon.  Brian Blake long known as a champion of reasonability in environmental law is struggling with the majority in the house who will not bear reason.  Shrugging off the burden of special interests and doing what is right for the state in terms of social and environmental responsibility is what must be done now.

Past amendments and bills tell us McCaslin, Shea, Taylor, Buys, Van Werven, Dent, Dye, Schmick, Orcutt, Chandler, Condotta, Graves. Griffey, Haler, Hargrove, Harmsworth, Hayes, Holy, Irwin, Kretz, Koster, Kraft, Kristiansen, Manweller, Maycumber, Pike, Rodne, Walsh, Wilcox, Volz, and Young have been pretty clear in supporting the sanity of ESSB 5239 or similar other very good bills presented in the house only to die of partisan politics.  

The wording of ESSB 5239 that would enhance environmental integrity and promote the need for such projects for such things as a fruitful environment for salmon and fish life should be enough for those who espouse those needs to vote in the affirmative for ESSB 5239.  Fixing Foster would be environmentally responsible, and fixing Hirst is socially responsible, not voting for this is reprehensible and belies the arguments that the tribes and their environmental cartel counterparts have suggested is the need for opposing Hirst, the impact on the environment of the use of less than 1% of water in Washington State.  

The obvious conclusion is the environmental cartel is more addicted to control of growth than it is to salmon and the health of the environment of the state.  It is the urban legislators that are preventing the well thought out ESSB 5239, which does a good job of avoiding partisanship and is fact and law based, and these legislators need to take a new look at what they are doing to prevent the social and environmental good of the state.  This may very well be what the special interests promote, but is it a good representation of what your average constituent would want?  It is far past time for a reasoned and justified vote to take place.




July 18, 2017