Tribes: Here’s your “Leg-Com News” for this week. Please note that it includes the Legislative Hot Sheet and the Priority Bills List for this week as well. Also attached, incidentally, is a brand new oil-related bill coming out of the Governor’s Office—legislative deadlines can be exempted. (March 14 is the deadline for bills to be out of their originating house). This particular bill would strengthen the state’s oil spill prevention and response program, by following the legislative recommendations of the Ocean Policy Work Group. All comments welcome.
Be sure to call in at 3 p.m. on Fridays to participate in the weekly legislative conference calls. Dial 1-206-553-1454.
This year’s Tribal/Legislative Lunch, intended to help enhance understanding between the legislature and tribal governments, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 (the first day of spring). This year the topic is “The ABC’s of Tribal Water Law.” Emcees will be Reps. John McCoy, D-Tulalip and Sam Hunt, D-Olympia (the chair of the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee) and speakers will include Tulalip Tribes’ Terry Williams, NWIFC’s John Hollowed and Professor Robert Anderson of the University of Washington. There will be a Q and A period and lunch will be provided. The location this year is the Washington Room, in the lower level of the Joel Pritchard Building on the State Capitol Campus. For directions, and to RSVP, please contact Bonita Cleveland at (360) 438-1180 or [email protected].
The 2007 State Legislative Session has passed the half way mark, and most bills still remaining are shaping up, leaving just a handful we recommend you oppose. Here they are:
SB 5519/HB 1453, The Points of Water Diversion (“Bath Tub”) bills.
This bill would enable water permit holders to change from one out-take source to another without requiring a new permit. This would result in more water take, even if the new out-take is from the same “pool” or “tub” of water.
SB 5733/HB 1748, The HPA Permits and Prevention of Flood Damage bills.
This bill has improved in substitute. It no longer calls for WDFW to consider out-of-stream properties, etc., equally with fish when issuing HPA permits, it no longer calls for SEPA exemption, etc., but it does still tell counties they must instruct WDFW to issue an HPA permit in the case of “chronic” (2 years) flood damage to a given property.
SB 5567, The Salmon and Watershed Planning Integration Group bill.
This bill sticks its nose in where watersheds should decide.
SB 5129, The Unlawfully Hunting Upon The Property of Another bill.
This bill is intended to help property owners keep hunters off their property if they so choose. The one amendment we have requested, which has not been heeded, is to clarify that the state law does not apply to treaty hunters.
SB 5248, The Growth Management/Viability of Agricultural Lands bill.
This bill would exempt agricultural lands from CAO’s and other important land management regulation. The better alternative would be to defer to the Ruckelshaus Policy Consensus Center, which is studying the issue.
Concerns do still remain with a number of the other priority bills still alive this session, such as SB 6117, the Reclaimed Water bill. The amended version of that bill appears to answer most of our concerns in western Washington, but the bill remains problematical for the Columbia River tribes. With most of the bills still alive (see the Priority Bills List), there will be additional opportunities to testify in opposite houses.