The 67th normal session of the Montana Legislature is much more than two-thirds of the way via its procedure, and it’s commencing to sense like we’re on the downhill slide to wrapping this session up. The deadline to transmit fiscal bills to the second chamber is looming, so we saw a hustle to get all final fiscal costs released and processed this week.
We go on to monitor the progress of Household Expenditures 14 and Household Invoice 2, which incorporate funding for major agricultural priorities together with the Montana Agricultural Experiment Stations, a new Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and a new Wool Lab for the condition. Property Bill 14, which handles the long-ranch setting up bonding software necessary for these main creating initiatives, has now passed the Property and will be listened to in the Senate.
We continue on to master more and monitor Household Monthly bill 632: Employ receipt of and acceptable federal stimulus and COVID recovery funds, which is the $2.7 billion in funding allotted to Montana by means of the federal American Rescue Program Act of 2021. Legislators are juggling the employs and wants of these funds with the fiscal strategies previously founded in House Expenditures 14 and 2, working tricky to fully grasp which needs may be satisfied by federal funding and what will nevertheless want allotted out of the state budget.
Two essential drinking water-connected expenses were being on the top rated of our testifying priorities this 7 days.
Senate Invoice 390: Set up the H2o Severance Helpful Use Act, sponsored by Sen. Brad Molnar (R), SD 28. Montana Farm Bureau member coverage opposes.
The H2o Severance Beneficial Use Act proposes revisions to the state’s hydroelectric technology facility fees for the use of Montana’s waters. The invoice notes that in accordance to the Montana Constitution, all water in the state is the residence of the point out, and drinking water utilized for the technology of electrical power is a helpful use. Employing individuals terms, the invoice introduces the plan of a cost on the transmission of the vitality generated from the drinking water in hydro-electric powered plants, calculated in a similar fashion as the coal gross proceeds tax imposed on coal that generates an equal sum of electricity. The monthly bill proposes using this water tax for the gain of Montana’s general public universities.
This monthly bill sets a unsafe precedent for how we glimpse at effective use of h2o and therefore determine probable service fees for h2o use. SB 390 does not straight effects agriculture, but we see a slippery slope in advance and want to prevent avoidable destructive repercussions for farmers and ranchers down the street. H2o suitable holders absolutely set drinking water to useful use, and we do not believe that that h2o in these conditions need to be taxed or allotted on a rate. Hence, we’re opposing this monthly bill with the very long-expression passions of all Montana’s water buyers in brain.
Senate Bill 302: Increase authorization deadline for use of navigable riverbed, sponsored by Sen. Walt Income (R), SD 35. Montana Farm Bureau member policy supports.
This is a quite very simple bill that extends the deadline to utilize for composed authorization to use the navigable riverbed. This is for people today using the bed of a river down below the minimal-drinking water mark, which applies to all irrigation diversion framework proprietors in the condition of Montana.
The original laws about this matter was set up in 2011, which famous that all persons using the bed of a navigable river down below the very low-water mark shall file for authorization for its use via the Section of All-natural Resources in purchase to carry on to use the riverbed.
The deadline for software was in the beginning set for July 15, 2021, but incredibly number of individuals have applied in that time. This monthly bill extends that software deadline to July 15, 2025, providing stakeholder businesses like Montana Farm Bureau and the DNRC time to give detect to water people to utilize for the essential authorization. Irrigation diversions construction homeowners can utilize for a lease, license or easement to keep their use of the riverbed through the DNRC.
For a lot more legislative updates and details on these problems, adhere to our Reside with Your Lobbyist broadcast each Friday at noon on our Montana Farm Bureau Fb Web site.