This week’s Capitol Rundown:
Suction Dredge Mining-
- We had a big win for clean water this week! After a four hour long committee hearing the House Resources committee voted unanimously to return the suction dredge mining bill, HB 510, to the sponsor Rep. Paul Shepherd- essentially killing it. This bill attempted to open up 80,000 miles of Idaho’s iconic rivers to unregulated, year round suction dredge mining. It was great to see so many community partners and state agencies voice their concerns.
Catastrophic Public Nuisance-
- On Wednesday, Senator Sheryl Nuxoll’s SB 1338 had it’s hearing, but ran out of time before Senate Resources committee had the chance to vote. It will likely continue next week. However, during the hearing on the bill that would put management of federal lands into the hands of the counties and sheriffs, we heard from a county commissioner who’d like to use this bill to create more litigation instead of working collaboratively with state and federal agencies. We will continue to work to oppose this bad bill in lieu of preferring collaborative efforts between local, state and federal agencies.
Oil & Gas Bill
- A bill that runs a muck with application timelines for the oil and gas industry while curtailing the mineral property rights of local Idahoans, SB 1339, passed Senate Resources Committee last Friday. Then after a hotly contested two hour debate on the Senate floorThursday, it passed 31-4.
Hybrid Fee Removal
- In better news, Senator Shawn Keogh’s SB 1311 raced through the Senate and will be heading to the House this week. We support this bill because it removes an unnecessary $75 registration fee hike from last year. It’s refreshing to see our legislators recognize a mistake and address it head on.