OLYMPIA— After months of negotiations ended with no solution to address the contentious issue of water rights and rural development in response to the Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision, Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell) and Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statements:

Statement from Rep. Derek Stanford:

“We had multiple proposals and with each one, the goal was to allow landowners to go ahead and build, take the burden off of the counties, and protect senior water rights holders, including the water that farms, fish and people rely on in our state. When we were unable to get to an agreement on a long-term solution, we offered a 24-month delay that provides immediate relief for property owners. This reasonable approach would give lawmakers more time to work on a permanent solution for this complex issue. But Republicans in the Senate were even against this temporary solution to help families who are currently unable to build.”  

Statement from Rep. Larry Springer:

“Our 24-month delay bill is not kicking the can down the road, because doing so with somebody’s livelihood and life savings is not an option. We are absolutely committed to protect the families who have already made investments, who have wells in the ground and mortgages on property.  The priority was to make them whole. So we made several offers that bring immediate relief to landowners, but were unable to come to a final agreement with Republicans. While we all negotiated in good faith, they were simply not willing to agree to any of the solutions that we felt would avoid additional litigation. A fix that would put us right back in court is not a long-term solution.”


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