By Daniel Stefanksi |
A water-related measure is clearing its final hurdles in the Arizona Legislature.
On Monday, the Arizona Senate passed HB 2022, sponsored by Representative Tim Dunn, which deals with reports on water fees and levees.
HB 2022 is “an emergency measure that extends the date, from July 1 to August 15, for the Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to annually provide a report of the ADWR’s operations to the Governor and the Legislature.” The bill also “outlines ADWR fee maximums for applications,” and it “requires the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) to distribute monies to Navajo County for the Little Colorado River Levee budget line item.”
The proposal cleared the Senate with a 28-0 vote (with two members not voting) and was transmitted to the House for concurrence. Earlier in the session, the House approved of the bill by a 58-2 tally.
In the Senate’s Committee of the Whole session this week, Senator Sine Kerr amended the bill, which earned applause by Democrat Senator Priya Sundareshan, who highlighted the efforts to reduce ADWR application fees and exempt ADWR from rulemaking requirements. Senator Sundareshan stated, “We need to support better groundwater management and help our rural areas.”
When HB 2022 was considered before the Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee, Ben Alteneder, the Legislative Liaison for the Arizona Department of Water Resources, briefly testified before the members, informing the panel that ADWR was neutral on the bill and had no issues with it. In February, a representative for the Western Growers Association signaled support for the legislation.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.