Hobbs Expected To Sign Rio Verde Water Relief Bill

Hobbs Expected To Sign Rio Verde Water Relief Bill

By Daniel Stefanski |

One Arizona legislator’s relentless efforts to deliver water to families in the Rio Verde Foothills appear to have paid off.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Senate passed SB 1432, which included Representative Alexander Kolodin’s HB 2561 as an amendment, sending it to the Governor’s Office for her decision.

Governor Hobbs is expected to sign the bill.

Twenty Senators voted to approve the measure, eight members opposed, and two did not vote.

Kolodin had several people to thank for the bill’s progress, which he did so in a press release, saying, “It took a team effort by an unlikely coalition to defeat the establishment’s army of lobbyists and solve what should have been a simple problem. A few people deserve special mention. My seatmate, John Kavanagh, put in yeoman’s work shepherding this legislation through the Senate. Senator Wadsack worked with us to integrate our bill with her own significant water reform legislation. She and my other colleagues in the Arizona Freedom Caucus withstood tremendous pressure to stand firm and help me to complete the people’s work. I also want to thank Representative Cook for his consistent efforts to help the people of Rio Verde as well as Representative Terech, the chief negotiator for the Democrats, for her months of effort to arrive at a bipartisan solution to a problem that no other part of government has been able or willing to resolve. This is not the first water crisis Arizona has faced and it will not be the last. But, today, we proved that the era of kicking the can down the road is over. This legislature is ready, willing, and able to roll up its sleeves and solve the problem – together.”

The state representative urged Hobbs to sign his bill and give the people of Rio Verde Foothills the relief that they have been seeking for months, stating, “We should not have had to fight so hard just to get Arizonans water, but our work is now complete thanks to the efforts of these and countless others. Katie Hobbs should immediately sign this bill and restore water to the people. Rio Verde Foothills – we applaud your fight and community spirit! Hold on tight, relief is on the way!”

After HB 2561 passed the Arizona House last month, freshman representative Justin Heap shared insight on how hard his colleague had worked to get his proposal to where it stood at that moment, tweeting:

“Politics is a profession defined by indolence & self-aggrandizement. Because of this, truly remarkable efforts by leaders to help the people they represent often go unnoticed & unrewarded. For this reason, I would like to acclaim my colleague @realAlexKolodin of District 3. No bill has been more fiercely contested or required more effort this year then the task of getting water to the 900 residents of Rio Verde Foothills who’ve been without reliable access to water since 2022. As their House Rep Alex made it his mission to get them water. It was a herculean task for a freshman legislator, against opposition from cities, the county BofS, the Governor’s Office, even his own party. Alex was undaunted.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.