The Sunnyside Daily Sun expressed strong editorial support for the state Senate’s refusal to adopt a capital budget without a permanent Hirst water rights fix. They frame the issue in familiar “urban v. rural” terms.
Failing to pass a two-year capital budget for the first time in memory leaves $4 billion in a lockbox. This is money that should be building schools and mental health facilities statewide, funds to prevent wildfires and homelessness, investments to boost local economies with infrastructure projects from Algona to Zillah.
Meanwhile, failing to resolve a water-rights impasse triggered by the state Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst decision leaves decades of water law in confusion. For the foreseeable future, small rural landowners who need a water source might get more help from a dowsing rod than from the government’s well-permitting bureaucracy.
That “dowsing rod” line is pretty good. The editorial closes with a plea.
To resolve these two major issues, the governor may need to call a special session before the year is out. But there’s no point as long as the political spin machine keeps churning out angry accusations and unseemly exaggerations..
Now would be a good time for a ceasefire.
A Hirst fix and capital budget should be within the reach of lawmakers, even now. We hope so.