On Tuesday, the Washington senate took up and passed Senate Bill 5239, better known as the Hirst fix, in an effort to bring water access to rural households across the Evergreen State. The legislation sponsored by Senator Judy Warnick was approved with bipartisan support in the senate during the regular legislative session. However, the House failed to vote on the bill. Warnick says since the Hirst ruling came down in October, the impact on Washington’s agriculture community has been painful.
“One farmer called me and said I can’t even put up housing for my farmworkers. He wants to do individual homes for farm workers on his big orchard and he can’t do it.”
The Moses Lake Republican says the legislation was unchanged from what was approved just a few months ago. When asked how she thinks the bill will fare in the House.
“I don’t know if I’d use the word confident but I’m going to use the word hope.”
Warnick, the chair of the Senate Ag committee says from here she will work with House Ag Chair, Representative Brian Blake to what can be done to get the bill approved and off to the Governor’s office.
Picture: Judy-Warnick-On-Floor, credit Glenn Vaagen, Washington Ag Network