Senate Bill 265 (Verdell Jackson’s Bill) – At least 200 people went to Helena to support Senator Verdell Jackson’s bill to extend the compact commission for two more years. Thanks to the efforts of all who attended. We are aware that people from all impacted areas were there. They were respectful and clearly gave a strong message to the legislators that people are paying attention and they are very unhappy with the Flathead Water Compact. Senator Jackson’s bill passed out of committee and is awaiting a vote in the house of representatives. Important Note: there is talk about amendments being made to Senator Jackson’s bill and it is possible it could become more like Salomon’s bill (see below).
CSKT WATER COMPACT (Kathleen Williams Bill) – House Bill 629 – Again, thanks to all the people attending the House Judiciary committee meeting hearing this last Wednesday to testify against the CSKT water compact. The compact has far too many legal and constitutional issues, and too much doubt and uncertainty exist to move it forward. It was great to see people from many counties throughout western Montana drive hundreds of miles, leaving in the middle of the night to attend an 8:30 a.m. hearing in Helena. We have heard that the committee could kill the bill, but it is possible it could be blasted to the floor for a vote so legislators will need to kill it on the floor.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ON House Bill 636- (Dan Salomon Bill) – During the SB265 hearing we were told that Dan Salomon would not carry the compact bill because it did not have the necessary votes. Instead he’s introduced a bill to approve the CSKT compact in 2015, allowing for a “study” of the bill, giving money to the tribes for habitat enhancement, water measurement devices on the FIP which may not be needed), and attempts to placate irrigators with grant money for the CME / FJBC.
This bill was designed to appease the tribes for 2 years, until the ratification of this horrible document will take place in 2015, and is little more than a pre-implementation of the FIP agreement. It provides a pathway to the passage of the existing compact. Who’s Responsible for this bad bill? We have documents that show it was crafted between Dan Salomon, Jon Metropoulos, attorney for the FJBC, in consultation with the tribes. Additionally we are told that legislators have worked behind the scenes on it, including Senator Chas Vincent from Libby, as well as a lobbyist.
FURTHER CALL TO ACTION:
|SB 265||Senator Jackson’s Bill
|HB 629||CSKT Water Compact Bill – Kathleen Williams
|HB 636||Dan Salomon’s bill for the 2015 Passage of the CSKT Water Compact – This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriations committee 04/02/13 at 3:00 pm