Busy, busy! As of the February deadline some 1186 bills had been dropped in the House and Senate by our illustrious Arizona Legislators. But only a few relate to water (no comments on where they seem to be spending their time). The Senate bills were summarized last month, and many of the House bills are the same as the Senate versions. A few of the others are worthy of mention.
HB 2073 would increase the number of CAP Board members by one non-voting Native American member representing tribal interests.
HB 2092 extends the sunset date for ADEQ out to July 1, 2024. It has passed the House and moved on to the Senate, and seems headed for passage and signature. The importance of ADEQ doesn’t really need to be underscored; fortunately the Legislature gets it. Mostly.
HB 2223 extends the sunset date for the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority to July 1, 2022. WIFA provides loans to construct needed facilities like water reclamation facilities, and is a true boon for many smaller communities. This bill will pass.
HB 2326 allows the Arizona Water Bank Authority to purchase Long-Term Storage Credits for firming of CAP water in addition to storing water and accumulating credits themselves. It is good preparation for shortages, and seems likely to pass.
HB 2523 appropriates $30 million for WIFA, and expands both the definition of water provider to include counties with IGAs with water providers and the definition of eligible projects. Subdivisions outside the AMAs can get WIFA loans if ADWR has determined that they have an adequate water supply (many do not have such a determination). And watershed protection can be considered as a factor in WIFA decisions. The bill has a lot of sponsors, thus support.
You can check on the status of various water-related bills at the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association website. Jeff Kros closely monitors the goings-on down at the Legislature, and updates the tracking log every Friday.