The Capital budget in Olympia was not passed as democrats in the House walked out of session, determined to maintain allegiance to special interests and the environmental cartel, the very interests that forced the loss decades of water rights law in Washington state through their litigation resulting in the poorly thought out Hirst decision of the Supreme court.
The purported agenda of the majority of democrats in the House and the environmental cartel is environment and fish life, we were told this was why Hirst was brought through litigation! Yet environmental projects on hold because of the failure of democrats to support common sense bills to solve the damage of Hirst will remain on hold without a capital budget. It is a tangled web they weave when first they practice to deceive! The denial of exempt well use does not support fish life, it supports back door growth management which is why Hirst tied GMA to well use. It seems obvious the majority in the House find it more important to maintain this allegiance to the environmental cartel's vision of Growth Management than moving forward with environmental projects and supporting jobs for those projects, which are claimed to be good for the environment. It is equally obvious by walking off the floor of the House after months of legislative negotiation, the House democrats would only support their version of a fix, which purported to solve the problem through mitigation with money. It is yet to be explained how the environment would be improved through the extortion of property owners' money. After all, the same water would be used in the same place. This seems a dubious solution and begs the question why the money? The who, what, when, and where of the money has not been answered for this solution. Apparently, this is a can of worms best left unopened.
The cry from agencies for capital to fund environmental projects, which would support well paying jobs is being heard across the state. The cry for long established water law in exempt wells is heard across the state as well. This is one of those times when it is crucial to face reality and realize the damage political decisions can have for people and the environment across the state. Legislative and environmental integrity are needed to end the impasse caused by hundreds of lawsuits, the most recent being Hirst, based on the Growth Management Act, the staple of Futurewise and the environmental cartel. Just type the word futurewise in search box of this link for an extensive history: http://www.courts.wa.gov/search/index.cfm?fa=search.start_search
To be fair, there were a few democrats who had an understanding of what was happening to their rural constituents, but sadly those few legislators' voices were not heard by their comrades in the House. Not surprisingly, as they certainly were not heard in the public square, leaving many to wonder what was supported by the majority of the House members, the so called fix presented by a consortium of Ecology, Governor Inslee, along with Representatives Springer and Stanford? Or the more level headed and reasoned bills supported by Representative Brian Blake as he attempted to reason with those having misplaced allegiance to no avail. http://tdn.com/news/opinion/house-failed-to-solve-water-capital-budget-issues/article_5fbdbf46-2d5f-5a52-9e56-2bc755b721b3.html
The Hirst decision has spurred greater interest in water law, and most certainly a closer look at how protections of citizens' water rights can be accomplished in coming sessions. The manipulations of the past years must be reconciled with law, respecting the rights of rural citizens and calling into question the management policies and rule-making that has been done by Ecology.
Why democrat leadership may have denied what many say would have been a positive vote on 5239 if it had ever come to the House floor is a question that should be asked and answered. Will that happen before the end of August or shall the citizens of the state proceed without settled water law and without funds for environmental and other projects? The magnitude of the damage caused by Hirst is evident. This is the decision to be made by Governor Inslee and Democrat leadership. Integrity is urged, where are the voices of the House democrats? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
By Cindy Alia
July 26, 2017