If you ask lawmakers in Olympia the biggest issue for the 2018 session, the answer most likely will depend on where they live. Representative Vincent Buys, the ranking Republican on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee said for rural Washingtonians, Hirst is the biggest ag issue, if not one of the biggest issues of the session.
“If you live in Seattle, they could care less about Hirst.”
And because a Hirst fix could not be reached during the 2017 session, Republicans refused to sign off on the statewide capital budget. Buys told the Washington Ag Network it’s not right for the state to build and prosper while so many rural Washingtonians are not allowed to develop their own land. Buys added many of the requests made by Democrats last session to fix Hirst, would punish those who decide to live outside of the city limits.
“One of the major one, they want to try and reduce the residential water, the amount you can withdraw per day down to 350 gallons a day. There is no requirement or no level of water that is set for people that live in a city. You can use as much water as you want and you’re totally fine, but if you happen to want to live out there, you’re limited in some of their proposals to 350 gallons a day and that’s only indoor use.”
Buys says despite the big differences in plans, he’s confident Democrats and the GOP can work together.
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